The Three Little Pigs: this 3-D native picture book app is highly readable

434A highly readable and age-appropriate app version of the classic fable filled with fun music, 3-D animations and numerous hotspots.

Bibliographic Info:  The Three Little Pigs: A 3-D Fairy Tale Nosy Crow (2011) $4.99  Format: App  Interest Level: kids ages 3+  Genre: Classics, Comedy and Humor, Fable  Themes: Friendship, Just Rewards, Cleverness

logoSummary:  Three pigs say goodbye to their parents and take off on their life paths.  Each pig builds his/her house (with assistance from the user). Small blue dots give visual cues on where to find hotspots. As the wolf visits each pig, the user can try to blow the house down by touching the wolf or blowing into the microphone. The ending is very funny and age-appropriate for young children.

StorytimeWow_FinalLogo-1The Three Little Pigs: A 3-D Fairy Tale was given StorytimeWOW’s Marquee Seal on April 30th, 2015.  This material has been selected for the AppWOW collection.

imageReview:  The Three Little Pigs: A 3-D Fairy Tale tells a well-trodden story, but this app’s interactive format makes it surprisingly fresh.  The app features smart animations, funny character comments, interactive surprises and the fun feature of being able to blow on the microphone to help the wolf “blow the house down.”  The story is narrated entirely by children and includes an original interactive musical soundtrack .  Each of the characters even have their own theme music.  The 3-D character animation and shifting perspectives are fantastic, but a bit unsettling at times.

405Storytime:  The Three Little Pigs: A 3-D Fairy Tale is a great storytime experience.  Just be careful to avoid allowing the hotspots to detour the narrative.  Read the text and choose a couple hotspots per page that advance the story.  Definitely encourage kids to huff, puff and blow!

Awards:  Winner of 2011 Editor’s Choice Award, Children’s Technology Review magazine One of the Top 10 “The Best Children’s Books on the iPad”

  • Read-alikes:  Nosy Crow’s 3-D Fairy Tale series includes Snow White, Jack and the Beanstalk and Little Red Riding Hood.
  • Links:  website,  Nosy Crow’s Three Little Pigs page
  • Reviews: The Literary Platform, Broxtermans

I chose to review the The Three Little Pigs: A 3-D Fairy Tale because recommends it for use during digital storytime programs.

3Make Reading More Fun

Written by Tom Schween, founder of storytimeWOW!

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom – teach letter knowledge with this cheerful story song

th-1“A told B, and B told C, I’ll meet you at the top of the coconut tree.”

Bibliographic Info:  Archambault, J. & Martin Jr., Chicka Chicka Boom Boom  Little Simon 36pp. $7.99  Formats: Hardcover (1989) ISBN: 978-1442450707, Paperback, Board Book, Kindle, iBook, Audio CD  Reading Level: 1.9  Interest Level: K-2  Genre: Alphabet Book, Rhyming Story  Major Themes: Alphabet Recognition

Summary:  This classic story song in eBook format makes a wondeful activity for digital storytime.  All 26 letter characters in this rhyming story climb the coconut tree until it begins to bend under all the weight.  When all the little letters end up in a pile, adults come running.  

StorytimeWow_FinalLogo-1Chicka Chicka Boom Boom was selected for the PictureBookWOW, Picture eBookWOW and MusicVideoWOW collections at

th-4Review:  This upbeat rhyming story ingeniously casts all the lowercase letters of the alphabet as playful kids (and the uppercase versions as their parents).  The kids race each other up the coconut tree, but “will there be enough room?”  Kids will be delighted by the letter’s mischievous antics, the bouncy rhymes, the inviting repetition, and the personification of little and big letters. This catchy chant features a rainbow of brightly colored letters that look like refrigerator magnets. Lois Ehlert’s illustrations show the vibrant green palm bending more and more as the pages turn.  The original text introduces the 26 uppercase “mamas and papas and uncles and aunts.”

th-3 Storytime:  Create a sing-along story activity for one-on-one or group storytime by using the eBook with musical track, or opt for the adorable music video (below).


Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Music Video

th-5Readalikes:  Readalikes include Chicka Chicka 1, 2, 3 by Bill Martin Jr., John Archambault and Lois Ehrlert, and Boom Chicka Rock by John Archambault

Links:  author’s website, Scholastic


Other Reviews:  Common Sense Media  Goodreads

I chose to review this singable eBook to add dimension to the digital collections in this materials database.

3Make Reading More Fun

Written by Tom Schween, founder of storytimeWOW!

Peekaboo Barn – a peekaboo game that functions as a storytime transition

HomeTile-Barn2013The delightful Peekaboo Barn takes you to a happy farm where barn doors reveal happy animals, creating a fun guessing game for toddlers.

Bibliographic Info:  Peekaboo Apps:  Barn, Forest, Fridge, Sesame Street, Trick-or-Treat, Presents  Night & Day Studios (2008)  Format: App  Interest Level: kids 5 and under Genre: Nonfiction, Games  Themes: Animals, Animal Sounds, Letter Awareness, Vocabulary, Phonological Awareness

Summary:  Inside Peekaboo Barn, friendly animals await to surprise young children.  Kids try to guess farm animals by listening to their sounds.  Children can read the animal’s  names too.  Even more surprises await little ones in Peekaboo Forest, Peekaboo Wild, Peekaboo Sesame Street, Peekaboo Fridge, Peekaboo Trick-o-Treat and Peekaboo Presents.  

StorytimeWow_FinalLogo-1Peekaboo Barn was given StorytimeWOW’s Marquee Seal on April 20th, 2015.  This material has been selected for the AppWOW collection.

PeekabooBarnReview:  Peekaboo Barn and the follow-up Peekaboo apps function as delightful guessing games and transitional tools for teaching vocabulary, letter awareness and phonological awareness to young children during storytime.  These apps are easy to use and fun.  Children guess the name of an animal by its sound.  Then, they see the animal’s name via onscreen text.  Together you can sound it out.  It’s a super cute game that makes a fun brain break in between stories while teaching knowledge of the real world to children.

PeekabooForest-placeholderStorytime:  This app makes a fun guessing game during storytime.  All you need is your iPad and a bluetooth speaker for larger groups.  Introduce the game like this:  “Let’s play Peekaboo Barn!  Turn on your listening ears.  Knock Knock.  What’s the name of this animal? (the animal sound repeats itself)”  Tap on the barn and say “peekaboo!”  The barn doors will open to show an animal and the animal’s sounds will play again.  Allow children to guess the name of the animal.  Finally, when the animal’s name appears onscreen, point to each letter and sound it out.  Have children do this with you.  Tap again and the barn doors will close.  Now repeat the cycle.

PeekabooFridge1. Peekaboo Barn provides parents with opportunities to use the following Early Literacy-Building Parent Practices (see full list of parent practices here):

  • Talking – Children learn about language by listening to parents and caregivers talk and by joining in conversation. Talking, telling stories and stretching conversations helps children learn new words, learn to express themselves and learn how to have a conversation.
  • Reading – Reading together remains the single most effective way to help children become proficient readers. Children who enjoy being read to are more likely to want to learn to read themselves. Reading together develops vocabulary, comprehension, and general knowledge needed to understand other books and stories when they are older. Reading introduces children to “rare” words that they may not hear in everyday conversation.
  • Playing – Play is one of the primary ways young children learn about how the world works and learn language. Play helps children practice putting their thoughts into words.

PeekabooSesameStreet2. Peekaboo Barn supports these Common Core Guidelines (see full list here):

  • Add information-focused content and materials that broaden knowledge of the real world.
  • Integrate new media materials and technology in classroom settings. Cultivate media literacy behaviors through modeling.
  • Create a more participatory culture in group programs and classroom settings.  Use materials that invite participation and keep learners engaged.

Significance:  In 2008, Peekaboo Barn was one of the first apps released for toddlers.  It has been downloaded over half a million times, and played over 70 million times worldwide.

thAwards/Honors:  Peekaboo Barn been a top 20 educational game on the iTunes store nearly every day since its launch.  It won The Best Toddler App Ever award in 2009, and was named one of the top 50 iPhone apps for kids by in 2010 and 2011.  It is recommended by The New York Times, MSNBC, USA Today, Wired, Telegraph UK, Ireland’s The Independent, Parents Magazine, and the Washington Post.

  • Play-alikes:  Check out sequels: Peekaboo Fridge, Peekaboo Sesame Street, Peekaboo Forest, Peekaboo Trick-ot-Treat, Peekaboo Wild and Peekaboo Presents.  Also try Animal Sounds- Fun Toddler Game, and Tantrum “Sounds” Apps.
  • Links:  Night & Day Studios
  • Reviews: Common Sense MediaAppsMeNow

I chose to review Peekaboo Barn because young children enjoy peekaboo games during storytime.

3Make Reading More Fun

Written by Tom Schween, founder of storytimeWOW!