Apps Based on Books for Your Little Ones

Child on iPad. Photo by Brad / Lexie Flickinger
Category: Bookbug

The debate about digital books for children is an going conversation; some think that they can be damaging, whilst others think they embrace new technologies to breathe life into reading for children. Whilst many argue that screen time should be kept to a minimum, others counter that if shared with parents and carers much like physical books, book apps can be a healthy part of a reading education.

Even if you're sceptical, we're sure that these 10 book apps will give you pause for thought.

The Heart and the Bottle - Oliver Jeffers

Oliver Jeffers has written some fantastic, award-winning books for children, and this app builds on the reading experience of The Heart and the Bottle, a story that explores the themes of love and loss for younger readers. Read by Helena Bonham-Carter, the story unravels as your child interacts with the illustrations and is encouraged to draw as well. This is a book app that encourages emotional engagement as well as interactivity. 


Gruffalo: Games - based on The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

Though Ms. Donaldson herself may not have been convinced about the development of this app, little fans of the Gruffalo will find this selection of book-based games to be almost too much fun. The app aims to inspire children to re-read the original book and to engage with the characters within it, but it also contains alphabet sequencing and phonics aspects. 


Rumble In The Jungle – An Interactive Book

Based on the book of the same name by Giles Andreae and David Wojtowycz, this app allows you to read the story to your child or have it read to them by Hugh Laurie. Children are encouraged to join in with the poems and to make animal noises to match the illlustrations, and they can even tap to animate the animals themselves. 


Sir Charlie Stinky Socks and the Really Big Adventure - based on the book by Kristina Stephenson

This interactive version of the popular children's book allows children to run their fingers over the lines of the story to hear them out loud. There's also drawing, an opportunity to colour in the illustrations and the ability to record you or your child reading the story. The app aims to help with literary development. 


Dear Zoo - based on the book by Rod Campbell

Dear Zoo is animated in a very simple fashion, meaning that the focus of the experience remains on the story itself. However, children can open up the crates and boxes to set the animals free. Your child is encouraged to make the noises that match the creatures on the screen, and the game of pairs at the end will test your child's comprehension of the book. 


Classic Winnie-the-Pooh - based on the books by A.A. Milne

This is one for both children and parents, as the classic stories from the 1920s are animated for the first time and read by Rufus Jones. With lots of supporting material around the history of the iconic character, this app allows children and parents to explore the character of Pooh Bear together whilst enjoying the timeless narrative. 


Grimm's Hansel and Gretel 3D Interactive Pop-up Book - based on the stories by the Brothers Grimm

The tales of the Brothers Grimm are brought firmly into the interactive world with this incredibly hands-on app. Games and simple tasks are designed to bring the child into the world of the story, though supervision would enable parents to ensure their children are getting the most out of the experience. Why not read the stories to your child while letting them take breaks to play the games and ask questions?


Hunches in Bunches - based on the book by Dr. Seuss

Children can explore illustrations, repeat rhymes, learn new vocabulary and record themselves reading with this book based on the popular Dr. Seuss book. Rhyming is a fantastic way for kids to enhance their literacy and they'll love listening to themselves saying the funny words in this book app. A great choice for parents who want to avoid games. 


Pip and Posy: Fun and Games - by Axel Scheffler 

Although this is an app based on story book characters rather than an interactive book, little fans of Axel Scheffler's characters will enjoy playing educational games based on the books themselves. As well as jigsaws, pair matching, drawing and colouring, children can explore emotional reactions by taking photos of themselves pulling the same faces as Pip and Posy. 


Dr Seuss Beginner Book Collection #1

If your child loves to rhyme, then this collection of five book apps is a great place to start. Bringing together the apps for The Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, The FOOT Book, Mr. Brown Can MOO! Can You?, and Fox in Socks, this collection allows children to record and listen to themselves reading the words in the stories as well as learning new sounds and exploring the stories themselves.