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!

The Wrong Book – “Go away! You’re in the wrong book!”

th-3Nicholas Ickle just wants to tell a story about himself, but characters from other stories keep popping up on his book’s pages.

Bibliographic Info:  Bland, Nick The Wrong Book  Scholastic Australia (2009) 32pp.  Formats: Hardcover ISBN 978-0545980340  $19.99,  Paperback, Board Book, eBook, App (WheelbarrowGrade Level: NA  Interest Level: ages 2-5  Genre: Comedy/Humor  Themes: Me

Summary:  Nicholas Ickle is an imaginative little dude trying to tell a good story, but every time he starts, his tale keeps being invaded by characters from other stories.  He barely can begin before he is interrupted by an elephant, monsters, a pirate, rats and even the Queen.

StorytimeWow_FinalLogo-1The Wrong Book was given StorytimeWOW’s Marquee Seal on April 15th, 2015.  This book was selected for the PictureBookWOW, Picture eBookWOW and AppWOW collections on this site.

th-4Review:   Although Nicholas Ickle’s tale wasn’t meant to be, The Wrong Book is still the right book.  This humorous read aloud grows funnier with each page.  Bland’s picture book shines as an app.  The app’s fun lies in the book’s delightful illustrations that come to life and playful, interactive and funny effects on every page.  The menu of options is accessible and clearly laid out.  Australian comic Frank Woodley brilliantly voices the narration.

th-7Storytime:  In groups or in one-on-one storytimes, The Wrong Book is great fun.  The story sweeps both reader and listener up in a funny premise that builds until the book’s conclusion.  Entertaining illustrations will make kids want to read it again.  The book includes repetitive text that encourages participation.  Whenever you say “Go away!”, have children voice the line “You’re in the wrong book!”

Bibliotherapeutic Usefulness:  Use dialogic reading throughout the story.  Ask children about Nicholas Ickle’s feelings.  What does Nicholas want?  How does he feel?  Have kids ever felt like Nicholas does in this story?

th-8More Read-alikes:  The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, The Book With No Pictures by B. J. Novak, The Very Cranky Bear and The Very Itchy Bear by Nick Bland

Links:  Author’s Webpage at Scholastic, Teacher Notes, Amazon


Other Reviews Links:  Goodreads, eBooks in Schools, Kirkus App Review

Why I chose to review this book?  I chose to review The Wrong Book because of its compelling title and cover illustration. 

3Make Reading More Fun

Written by Tom Schween, founder of storytimeWOW!

Duck on a Bike – you can do it!

th-3Animals react to Duck as he rides a bike around the farm.  Will Duck’s fun activity inspire the other animals?

Bibliographic Info:  Shannon, David  Duck on a Bike Blue Sky Press (2002)  Formats:  Hard- cover ISBN: 978-0439050234, Paperback, Audio CD, Audible. 40 pages.  Price: $17.99  Reading Level / Grade Level Equivalent: 1.8  Interest Level: preK-3  Genre: Comedy and Humor, Read Aloud  Major Themes:  Farm Animals, Bicycles, Animal Sounds

th-10Summary:  Once upon a time a farmyard duck gets an idea. “I bet I could ride a bike,” he thinks.  At first he was wobbly (but it was fun).  As he rides around the farm, we hear many animal’s thoughts about a duck riding a bike.  A pack of kids on bikes ride into the farmyard so fast, they do not notice the duck.  The kids leave their bikes in the yard and go inside and all the animals, inspired by duck, decide to try it.

StorytimeWow_FinalLogo-1Duck on a Bike was given the StorytimeWOW Marquee Seal on April 1st, 2015.  This book has been selected for the PictureBookWOW collection. Read below for storytime tips.

th-7Review:  When Shannon’s daughter was a toddler, she made animal noises before          she spoke.  Shannon combined his daughter’s moos, quacks and oinks with his own childhood love of bicycling to create the effervescent Duck on a Bike.  In this book, Shannon delightfully illustrates the story from the vantage point of a toddler (making it perfect as a read aloud). As the duck careens dangerously around the colorful barnyard and chickens scurry, a bright blue sky with puffy white clouds communicates a sense of optimism and comfort.  This bright, fun and funny story from the mind of David Shannon is a first-rate read aloud that will appeal to preschoolers through third graders.

Storytime Tips: getPart  Ask pre-readers for their help telling this story by encouraging them to read Duck’s repeated greetings.  Invent fun voices and personalities for each farm animal.  When you are done, ask children what parts of the story are real and what parts are pretend.

Bibliotherapeutic Usefulness:  This cheerful story may be used to encourage and inspire first time bike riders.

th-1Read-alikes:  No, David! (1998), Alice the Fairy (2004), Good Boy, Fergus! (2006)

Awards: 2003 ALA Notable Children’s Book Winner

Links:   Author’s Website, Scholastic,

Other Reviews Links:  ALA Booklist, Goodreads, Kirkus

Why I chose it:  I chose to review Duck on a Bike because of the fun humor that its cover illustration projects.

3Make Reading More Fun

Written by Tom Schween, founder of storytimeWOW!  Use your local library to check out books for free and get more recommendations.