Category Archives: Books

Quick Look – Another Monster at the End of This Book for iPad

Another Monster at the End of This Book for iPad

Another Monster at the End of This Book – Starring Grover and Elmo is the sequel to the excellent ‘The Monster at the End of This Book’ eBook for iPad and iOS. My 8 year old daughter and I are big fans of the original (it made her laugh tons) so as soon as I heard about this sequel from the publishers, Callaway Digital Arts, I gladly snapped up a promo code for it.

The theme of the first book, which starred Grover from Sesame Street, was that Grover was terrified of the monster at the end of the book – and did his absolute best to stop you from turning the pages to get to the end. For younger readers and listeners the tension builds a little as you get to the end and discover a very happy ending with the reveal that the ‘monster’ is Grover himself.

In Another Monster at the End of This Book Grover is joined by Elmo to add to the fun. Grover is still worried sick about reaching the end of the book and the monster waiting there, while Elmo is gung-ho to get there.

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Review – Above & Beyond: John Kascht for iPad

Above & Beyond: John Kascht for iPad

Above and Beyond: John Kascht is an iPad app that celebrates the work of John Kascht, one of the leading contemporary caricature artists in the US. It’s part of the Above and Beyond series, which ‘showcase incredible imagery and the equally incredible men and women who create them’.

Here’s a little more about Kascht, via the App Store page for the app:

John Kascht is among the most prominent American caricature artists of the past half-century. His work elegantly straddles the line between cartooning and portraiture, and is part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery.

Before spotting Above and Beyond: John Kascht I had never heard of Kascht. I’m now a huge admirer of his work, and very glad to have discovered it via this excellent app.

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Quick Look – Kurt Cobain: The Graphic Novel for iPad

Kurt Cobain The Graphic Novel for iPad

Kurt Cobain: The Graphic Novel is a new iPad app released this week that offers a gritty comic-book style look at the short, turbulent life of Cobain, the iconic lead singer of Nirvana.

Here’s a little of the backstory, taken from the app’s About page:

This publication started out as full-colour print book named Godspeed: The Kurt Cobain Graphic and was first published in 2003 by Omnibus Press (a division of Music Sales Limited).

Writers Barnaby Legg and Jim McCarthy constructed their story using biographical fact interwoven with references to the singers tortured self-image. The vibrant art by Flameboy captures both the subjective dreamscape and the objective reality that form the heart of this examination of a tragic musical legend.

I’ve never been a huge Nirvana fan, but this app caught my interest yesterday and I installed it, got drawn in from the first couple pages, and read through its 84 pages in one quick sitting.

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Quick Look: JibJab Jr. for iPad

JibJab Jr for iPad

When the guys from JibJab approached me recently to let me know they had released an iPad app I couldn’t wait to try it out. JibJab are deservedly famous and lauded for their excellent satirical animated videos, and now their range of funny animated eCards.

Their iPad app is JibJab Jr. – a storybook app that lets you put your own photos into the face of the lead character in each story. So your kiddo can be the protagonist if you like. Here’s a bit of the App Store page intro for the app:

With JibJab Jr. Books, you can make your child the STAR of the show. In just a few simple swipes, you can create personalized storybooks that feature your child’s face and name. Your child will be enthralled by the great stories, colorful art, and awesome animations in every JibJab Jr. book. Our mission is to enhance the special wind-down time you spend with your child sharing stories at bedtime. So download the app, turn out the lights and take your child on a personalized journey unlike anything they’ve ever experienced before!

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Quick Look: National Geographic’s Weird But True for iPad

National Geographic Kids WeirdButTrue for iPad

Weird But True is the latest new iPad / iOS app from National Geographic Kids. It’s based on a popular section in National Geographic Kids magazine and books.

The premise of the app is a simple one, and the interface is basic and easy for all ages to use. It presents over 300 weird but true, and kid friendly, facts. You just swipe or shake the iPad to see a new weird but true page.

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Quick Look: The Waste Land for iPad

The Waste Land for iPad

The Waste Land is the title of T.S. Eliot’s epic poem, and it’s also the name of the app that celebrates it and brings the poem to the iPad. As the publishers put it, this app brings ‘the most revolutionary poem of the last hundred years’ to a 21st century audience.

This digital edition carefully respects the typography and integrity of the original yet offers spectacular new ways to explore the significance and influence of the poem.

I took a few Modern Lit courses at university and this poem featured heavily in those. Eliot was never among my favorite poets (I much prefer Yeats) but it was fun trying to get to grips with this landmark work.

I’ve had the iPad app for a few months now and it’s been like being back in one of those classes, but with much, much better resources to go along with the poem itself.

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Review – The 9/11 Memorial: Past, Present, and Future for iPad

The 9/11 Memorial: Past, Present, and Future - iPad app

The 9/11 Memorial:  Past, Present, and Future is an iPad app that serves to commemorate the events of that historic and tragic day and offer a unique look at the history and the planned future for the 9/11 Memorial that opens next month.

The 9/11 Memorial will be dedicated on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and will open to the public on the day after, September 12, 2011.

This app, just as the title suggests, offers a superb look at the past, present, and future of what seems destined to become an important national landmark in the US. It includes never-seen-before videos, photographs, interviews and text that document the Memorial. The app is an iPad exclusive – and the publisher, Steve Rosenbaum, calls it ‘history in your hands’. It will be released in the App Store on September 1st and will be free for 11 days – 9/1 to 9/11.

I was far away from the events of 9/11, here in Texas – but like so many others I watched the events unfold from early that morning and have vivid memories of the day. So when I was offered a chance to install a pre-release copy of this app it took me about 2 seconds to say yes. I’ve been reading and browsing the app for the last couple of weeks and as usual I’ve got some thoughts to share …

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Ultimate Sharks – The Ultimate iPad App for Shark Week

Ultimate Sharks app for iPad

Ultimate Sharks is this week’s iPad App of the Week – a fitting choice to coincide with Discovery Channel’s annual shark week. Published by Discovery Communications, the app is chock full of great content that should appeal to anyone who’s even mildly interested in sharks.

Here are some of the app’s notable features:

– 10 DEADLIEST SHARKS: Packed with robust content about the most fearsome shark species known including the Great White, Hammerhead, Tiger Shark and others
– 3D INTERACTIVE SHARKS: Control the sharks with your fingertip. Make them swim, hunt and attack
– HIGH QUALITY VIDEOS: Over 3 hours of custom-created shark videos produced from Discovery’s legendary shark library and narrated by Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs fame
– AIRPLAY-ENABLED: Share your favorite shark videos with friends and family on the big screen
– ATTACK STORIES: Unbelievable tales of human encounters with sharks
– EXCLUSIVE CONTENT: Over 75 screens of content, expertly written text and narrative, interactive maps and infographics
– HI-RES PHOTOS: Over 250 breathtaking high-resolution photos from some of the world’s most celebrated wildlife photographers

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Today’s Best iPad App Ever: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is a spectacularly great iPad eBook and app. So much for review verdict spoilers eh? I couldn’t help it – this is just a fantastic and charming app. One that I already love, and one I know my daughter will love equally – and I can’t wait to show it to her.

Here’s a bit of the developers’ description of the app:

Inspired, in equal measures, by Hurricane Katrina, Buster Keaton, The Wizard of Oz, and a love for books, “Morris Lessmore” is a story of people who devote their lives to books and books who return the favor. Morris Lessmore is a poignant, humorous allegory about the curative powers of story. Using a variety of techniques (miniatures, computer animation, 2D animation) award winning author/ illustrator William Joyce and Co-director Brandon Oldenburg present a new narrative experience that harkens back to silent films and M-G-M Technicolor musicals. “Morris Lessmore” is old fashioned and cutting edge at the same time.

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Review: Cars 2 Storybook Deluxe for iPad

Cars 2 Storybook Deluxe

Cars 2 Storybook Deluxe is an iPad eBook app that brings the recently released movie to the iPad in storybook form. The publishers describe it as a

supercharged children’s book app filled with vibrant art, professional narration, exciting music and sound effects, plus A-list celebrity voices from the film.

My daughter (Zoe) and I are big fans of iPad eBooks and she also loved the first Cars movie – so this one had instant appeal for us and I felt sure it would be a hit with Zoe. Sadly, that has not ended up being true. It’s been a very disappointing app for both of us. Hit the break for reasons why …


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Quick Look: iPad eBook – Angelina Ballerina’s New Ballet Teacher

Angelina Ballerina’s New Ballet Teacher iPad eBook

Angelina Ballerina’s New Ballet Teacher is a new iPad eBook from Callaway Digital Arts. It’s one of the many animated, interactive iPad eBooks aimed at younger children.

This is one of my very favorite types of app for the iPad, as they are titles I can try out and enjoy with my 8 year old daughter. We’ve tried out a large number of these iPad eBook titles – and fond that some are awful, some are mediocre, and some are very, very good.

Happily, Angelina Ballerina’s New Ballet Teacher is in the last of those groups. In fact, it’s one of the very best titles of this kind that we’ve come across.

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