Hover over each Learning Benefit below for a detailed explanation.
We had an expert panel choose the latest and greatest children's reading and book apps. Here are their picks!
Meet Our Expert Reviewers:
- Julia Fitzgerald, CMO of Sylvan Learning
- Christopher Healy, children’s media reviewer for Common Sense Media
- Carisa Kluver, founder of Digital-storytime.com, a picture-book apps review site
Really Excellent E-reading Apps
Kids are drawn into the text with read-alouds and learning activities. Follow your child’s progress with Reading Reports and earn rewards for his classroom if his teacher participates in Scholastic’s Reading Club. For iPad and Android. Scholastic, free. Books $1–$9. Ages 2 and up.
Looking to introduce your little one to a foreign language? PlayTales is the app for you! Each classic or just-released book is available in eight languages and offers interactive options as well as original illustrations. For iOS and Android. Genera Kids, free. Books $1–$4. Ages 1 to 8.
Turn any time into storytime with 700+ titles from well-known and brand-new authors. Your child can hear the story read aloud (with follow-along highlighting for word recognition) or read it to herself. For iOS and Android. MeeGenius, free. Books $1–$5. Ages 2 to 8.
Simply Amazing Storybooks
Hop On Pop
A favorite for learning to read, the Seussian rhyme comes with highlighted text for better word recognition and the ability to tap objects and see the word. Professional audio narration adds to the fun. For iOS and Android. Oceanhouse Media, $2–$4. Ages 2 to 6.
Little Red Riding Hood
The familiar tale is new again with “great sound effects, gorgeous music, and whimsical illustrations,” says Kluver. Kids get in on the fun by choosing from a variety of paths that change how the story ends. For iOS. Nosy Crow, $6. Ages 4 and up.
Spatter & Spark Pro
Join artsy porcupine Spatter and his pal, the handy fox Spark, as they paint, create, assemble, and invent together. We love the vivid textured digital illustrations by Luciana Navarro Powell. For iOS. Polk Street, $1. Ages 4 to 6.
Top-Notch Writing Tools
Don’t Let The Pigeon Run This App!
Create — and draw — your own Pigeon stories! Answer the bus driver’s questions and then shake the pigeon (voiced by Mo Willems himself), and your answers will become part of the story. For iOS. Disney, $7. Ages 3 and up.
Lists for Writers
Great to turn to for inspiration for any part of the story you’re telling — character names, places, myths and magic, specific words, and more. Plus, choose from different kinds of plots, conflict types, and issues. For iOS and Android. Thinkamingo, $2–$3. Ages 8 and up.
This is My Story (and I’m Sticking to It)
Kids can improve early writing skills by seeing and hearing vocab words as they fill them into their own original stories that use simple sentence structure. Great for early readers and writers. For iOS. Gramercy Consultants, $2. Ages 4 and up.
Recommended Products for Your Child Ages 3-5