Appysmarts.com Best Apps for Young Brains

Best children books for iPhone according to Appysmarts reviewers and users.

If you are an iPhone owner looking for the top interactive books for your kids, this is the list for you! This ranking presents best apps for young readers for iPhone - it means that these apps work on iPhone/iPod touch (iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 etc.) and are compatible with iPad (but on iPad they will be displayed on the smaller screen) or have dedicated versions both for iPhone and iPad.

On this list you'll find apps for kids with:
  • high overall score
  • excellent reading options
  • professional narration
  • great story
  • beautiful illustrations
  • animations and interactive features


If you would like to take a look at best kids apps for iPad please click here.

Best Apps for Young Brains - get our weekly app recommendations by e-mail!

Bizzy Bear Builds a House

Bizzy Bear Builds a House
by Nosy Crow

Price: 3.99$
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May contain `more apps` links
iPhone

Overall Score: 100/100

version reviewed: 1.0

reviewed:


Best for: Interactive books, Attention & concentration, Early literacy, Eye-hand coordination, Interaction, Language, Personal & social, Thinking & problem solving, Understanding of the world

What it is: a short interactive story (8 pages/scenes) with additional activities.

What you do with it: Watch a short animated intro, then follow the text and audio instructions and try to complete the task (dig a hole with the digger, pile up the sand using the bulldozer). Touch the objects in the scene for clues or extra interaction.

What we liked: the concept, illustrations and animations, simple but entertaining activities (especially for boys), easy operation, audio and visual clues, the speech-bubbles type 'conversations'. The app can be used even by younger children (with parental assistance).

What we didn't like: we would like to see more interactive bits (apart from the main activities you can just make the characters make a silly jump and that's all). A simple reward system for completing each task would make this app even more fun.

Bottom line: 2 to 5 year old boys will love it!

Appysmarts


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  • Length of play:
  • Educational value:
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Ice Is Nice! (Dr. Seuss/Cat in the Hat)

Ice Is Nice! (Dr. Seuss/Cat in the Hat)
by Oceanhouse Media

Price: 5.99$
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iPhone

Overall Score: 99/100

version reviewed: 1.09

reviewed:


Best for: Interactive books, Attention & concentration, Early literacy, Interaction, Understanding of the world

What it is: an interactive book from the Cat in The Hat's Learning Library about the North and South Poles.

What you do with it: two modes of 'reading' the book: listen to the narration and follow the text or read the story yourself (or have the story read to you by a parent). Touch the objects on pages and their name will be displayed and read out. Touch highlighted ('difficult') words and their meaning will be explained. Touch the 'interactive diagrams' for illustration and explanation of 'scientific concepts.'

What we liked: the story, good educational value, the interactive 'extras' (but please see the note below), excellent reading options (words are highlighted, you can touch a word to have it read out, you can touch and hold the words to repeat a paragraph), professional narration, sounds and sound backgrounds, visual clues.

What we didn't like: the idea behind 'interactive illustrations' (like the one explaining how polar bear's fur 'works') is good but there are just too few of them. Many 'diagrams' lack true interaction (e.g. in the diagram explaining Earth's axis we wish we could 'spin' the globe around to illustrate the concept).

Note about ads: the app has an option to display news and ads from the publisher but this option can be turned off in the settings menu.

Bottom line: much more value than the print version of the book!

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  • Length of play:
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Babel, the King - EPIC animated storybook

Babel, the King - EPIC animated storybook
by EPIC Agency

Price: free (was 3.99$)
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iPhone

Overall Score: 91/100

version reviewed: 1.1.3

reviewed:


Best for: Interactive books, Attention & concentration, Early literacy, Eye-hand coordination, Interaction, Music & art, Personal & social, Understanding of the world

What it is: an interactive book (20 pages) about a grumpy cat called Babel who dreams of becoming a king.

What you do with it: read the story yourself or listen to the narration. Tilt the device, blow into the microphone, touch/pull objects on the pages for interaction (e.g. help Babel land safely on the ground using an umbrella as the parachute, blow the leaves away etc).

What we liked: the story, illustrations (excellent!), animations, interactive elements complementing the storyline, sound backgrounds and sound effects, professional narration, visual hints (helping find all interactive elements).

What we didn't like: text is not 'young reader friendly' (large blocks of text, small font, words are not highlighted). The next/previous page buttons could be in a more convenient place.

Bottom line: engaging, with excellent graphics and narration - highly recommended!

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Best Apps for Young Brains - get our weekly app recommendations by e-mail!


Cozmo's Day Off - Children's Interactive Storybook

Cozmo's Day Off - Children's Interactive Storybook
by Ayars Animation

Price: 3.99$
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iPhone + iPad

Overall Score: 88/100

version reviewed: 1.2.1

reviewed:


Best for: Interactive books, Attention & concentration, Early literacy, Eye-hand coordination, Interaction, Memory, Music & art, Thinking & problem solving

What it is: an interactive book (10 pages long) with a Science Fiction twist.

What you do with it:listen to the story (or read it yourself) and interact with the objects on every page (some of them are just 'for fun' like shooting with the laser beam, some more purposeful, like a jigsaw puzzle or a musical memory game). .

What we liked: the concept, excellent 3D illustrations, extra interactive elements (over 100 items), easy operation and navigation (e.g. you can easily access every individual page), excellent reading/narration/configuration options (the best we've seen so far): the text is highlighted, there are quick buttons for repeating a paragraph, hiding the text box or recording your own narration, the pitch of the narration can be changed, narration/music volume can be adjusted separately. Very informative help/instructions section.

What we didn't like: we would love to see fewer 'fun' and more 'educational' interactive elements or puzzles. The story about a green guy who goes to work is nice but some kids it may not find it too appealing (or understandable).

General notes about our book reviews: although when reviewing books, we try not to review the story itself, the general impressions will be reflected in the Overall Score.

The Age Range assigned to books will be usually broader compared to other apps, as they can be useful for both younger (with parent/narrator reading) or older (reading on their own) kids.

Appysmarts


  • Graphic quality:
  • Length of play:
  • Educational value:
  • 1
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  • 6
  • (years)
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The Tree I See - Interactive Storybook

The Tree I See - Interactive Storybook
by Aridan Interactive

Price: 1.99$
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May contain `more apps` links
iPhone + iPad

Overall Score: 63/100

version reviewed: 1.0.0

reviewed:


Best for: Interactive books, Attention & concentration, Early literacy, Eye-hand coordination, Interaction, Music & art

What it is: an interactive animated book about friendship and sharing (12 pages long).

What you do with it:listen to the story (or read it yourself) and interact with the objects on every page (sounds, animations, 'responses' of the characters etc, minigames).

What we liked: the story, excellent illustrations, easy operation and navigation, animated and interactive elements complementing the story, the music and sound effects. Excellent reading/narration/configuration options (e.g. the text is highlighted, there are quick buttons for repeating a paragraph or for hiding the text box, the narration/music volume can be adjusted separately etc.).

What we didn't like: we missed some sort or visual clues or instructions (for parents) where to find the interactions.

General notes about our book reviews: although when reviewing books, we try not to review the story itself, the general impressions will be reflected in the Overall Score.

The Age Range assigned to books will be usually broader compared to other apps, as they can be useful for both younger (with parent/narrator reading) or older (reading on their own) kids.

Appysmarts


  • Graphic quality:
  • Length of play:
  • Educational value:
  • 1
  • 2
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  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • (years)
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