I’m looking for an app about… fairy tales
We’re very excited about the imminent release of Nosy Crow’s Little Red Riding Hood on 25 April. This is the first of Nosy Crow’s fairy tale apps to have different ways to read through the story, with different endings too! I’m really pleased to see this, as a few months ago I was saying on the blog that it would be great to have more Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style stories available on the iPad. As a preview, here is the wolf’s side of the story…
To get in the mood for this launch, I thought it would be a good time to highlight some of our other favourite fairy tale apps. After all, fairy tales are some of the most popular and enduring children’s stories, and so can be one of the first things parents search for in the app store. As most traditional fairy tales are in the public domain, there are many hundreds of apps to choose from. Unfortunately, this also means that the quality varies enormously!
I have to say our favourites are still Nosy Crow’s other two fairy tale apps, The Three Little Pigs and Cinderella. They share fantastic illustrations, a focus on dialogue (with word highlighting) rather than heavy chunks of text, lively music and easy to use interactive features highlighted by the blue dot. Best of all, the story is told with pace and humour. We love the Wolf’s pie van he drives when chasing the pigs, and Cinderella and Prince Charming’s table tennis game. There are neat touches too, like the use of the iPad camera to let children see themselves in the mirrors in Cinderella, and the use of the microphone to blow down the three little pigs’ houses. Both currently £3.99/$5.99 (and worth splashing out on). More information: www.nosycrow.com/apps
For more of a traditional book format, try Mindshapes’ fairy tales available either in the Magic Town app or as individual stories. The wide range includes favourites like Cinderella and Snow White as well as less well-covered stories such as The Snow Queen, The Ugly Duckling and The Princess and the Pea. Each app has four modes – Watch (video), Play (interact), Learn (answer questions throughout the story) and Read (parent reads to child). All the books have great illustrations, the text is easy to read as it is underneath the pictures, and the pages are easy to navigate. All stand-alone stories are currently 69p/$0.99. More information: www.magictown.com. Mindshapes also have a Jack and the Beanstalk app (see my review here)
In the past few months we’ve been enjoying Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Playfuel. I was really pleased to see this app launched as I had followed creator Victoria Melbourne’s blog on being a first time app developer throughout 2012. Goldilocks has a lovely cheeky sense of humour and the cartoon-style illustrations perfectly match this. Kids will have fun trying all the porridge bowls, beds and chairs; playing with the Bears’ musical stairs and waking up Goldilocks in three different ways. My only real gripe is that the full text (as narrated) doesn’t always appear on each page. But that doesn’t take away from its kid appeal. More information: http://www.goldilocksapp.com/
If it’s a pop-up book you are after, I recommend the range by Story Toys. We have Snow White & the Seven Dwarves and The Little Mermaid. They look like real pop-up books, which move as you turn the iPad around. Pages of story text are mixed together with pop-up activity pages including games and puzzles tied in to the story. Under 3s may find the chunks of text a little long – Little Miss Chatterbox tends to flip straight to the activities if left to her own devices. That aside, we really enjoy these apps and definitely recommended them. Previously listed at £2.99/$4.99 all Story Toys pop-up books are free on Tuesday 23 April to celebrate UNESCO International World Book Day – so do take a look! More information: http://storytoys.com/
After all that reading, time for some fun with Toca Boca’s Toca Tailor Fairy Tales. A cheaper version of the full Toca Tailor app, you can dress up two characters in traditional fairy tale costumes and change the shape, style, patterns, colours and accessories. While I have nothing against princess-style dressing-up apps, this is a brilliant non-pink-and-frilly alternative and encourages children to customise their costumes down to the last detail. Currently 69p/$0.99. More information: http://tocaboca.com/game/toca-tailor-fairy-tales/
These are some of our favourites, but do you have any others we should download? What’s your favourite fairy tale app?