Lovely new booky things

Occasionally you have a day when you seem to find lots and lots of new, exciting things. Yesterday was one of those things, thanks to the lovely people over at Twitter.

And what’s more, all of it was for the iPhone or iPad.

I’m particularly excited to have downloaded books in various forms – audio books for Monkeyface from audible for the car and other places where I can’t easily read to her – and a really captivating The Wind in The Willows application. If you decide to look for it, it’s by (Bibliodome – The Wind in the Willows, 4.99.) I haven’t read Kenneth Grahame’s classic since I was a young adult but I have clear recollections of its gentle beauty and I do think this app brings to life difficult concepts and words for a very young child such as the Monkey. She really loved it and she isn’t usually interested in anything quite this wordy: she is after all only 2 years and 7 months. I’m really looking forward to continue to read this with her and I feel that such devices – when done well – definitely add to your repertoire and expose a child to greater variety and more sophisticated offerings. I know full well if I were to sit with her and attempt to read parts of the novel to her, she’d be too young to take much from it. I know, because we have tried with our Winnie the Pooh books. But the interactivity in this app really works and doesn’t interfere with the story’s exposition. Like. I’ve also downloaded the audiobook, albeit from a different source as there is no audio on this app, which I would have liked.

Only last week, I mentioned that we took delivery of a classic-in-the-making: Operation Alphabet. Monkeyface hasn’t yet read this book with me, but I have and I love it. It’s from those nice people at the Ministry of Letters, devoted they are too, and it’s a cracker. I love everything about it: it’s gorgeously vintage, witty, quirky and original. This will doubtless give you the wrong impression, but think what would happen if someone blended Alphablocks, Numberjacks and the Avengers. Coming from a creative agency, the writers and illustrators know what they are doing with this – it looks the business. Then there are the cleverly executed tie-ins. Well-shot you-tube videos and (I’m coming to the point) a really funny app that my daughter loved last-night (Ministry of letters – The SInging Alphabet, 69p). We had quite the time peeling her from the iPad and into bed.

Given where we are in her development, anything that helps me get her and her business on the potty or helps her grasp the alphabet has my immediate and direct attention. My musician-turned-techie husband liked the app too – anything built for repetition needs to not make you want to throw the iPad out of the window and the alphabet music is pretty funky. Like I said, they know what they are doing. Please do more stuff soonest.

By sheer coincidence, I also found out via twitter that there is a book-reading event today featuring Operation Alphabet. My monkey is too young to attend (and is anyway in a fractious mood today) but it sounds wonderful.

If you like your kids’ books with wit and good design, you’ll like this.


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