This week we take a look at apps that help middle schoolers gain confidence and deal with bullies, take kids on an “a-maze-ing” adventure, teach children about colors and painting, and let kids pretend they're a part of a spy series.
Publisher/Developer: Free Spirit Publishing/Electric Eggplant
Release Date: April 1
Price: $3.99 each; for iPad or iPad 2
Background: Based on Book 1 of the Middle School Confidential series by teen expert and anti-bullying activist Annie Fox and illustrated by Matt Kindt
Interactive features: There are sound effects and music. Readers can zoom in for frame-by-frame reading or zoom out for a page-by-page view. An auto-save feature remembers readers’ place in the story and a menu page lets them jump to any of the eight chapters. Meet the Cast pages let readers e-mail their favorite characters and share their own stories.
Publisher/Developer: OCG Studios
Release Date: March 25
Price: $4.99; for iPad
Background: The art for this original app was created in the U.S., and the development done in the Netherlands.
Interactive features: The app contains 16 screens where kids have to find their way by driving a car, walking, flying, skiing, and rafting. During the trip, they find letters, numbers, penguins, and dozens of other items.
Title: Alex Rider Ultimate Gadget
Publisher/Developer: Penguin Group USA
Release Date: March 24
Price: Free; for iPhone or iPod Touch
Background: Based on Anthony Horowitz’s internationally bestselling book series
Interactive features: The app features tools such as x-ray, infrared, and night vision goggles; lie detector; hypnotizer; listening bug detector. There are excerpts from all nine books in the series including an exclusive seven-chapter giveaway of book one, Stormbreaker.
Title: Super Why Paint!
Publisher/Developer: PBS Kids/Mobile Deluxe and Out of the Blue Enterprises
Release Date: March 20
Price: $2.99; for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch
Background: Based on the preschool series that helps kids build critical literacy skills
Interactive features: By swiping the color wheel, children can personalize and use a painting palette of 20 colors and a set of 19 Super Why-themed stickers. There are 48 coloring pages; kids can store their paintings in an art gallery and parents can e-mail kids’ artwork to family and friends, upload to Facebook, send using MMS, or set as wallpaper.
To be included in this listing, please send us the app title, the book or other source for the app (if there is one -- original apps are fine, too), when it was released, price, background of the book (including such info as copies in print, when it was released, awards, and brief plot summary), and the interactive elements of the app. Send all apps and promo codes to Jim Milliot, and send news of children’s apps to Diane Roback as well.