Friday, 29 June 2012

And the winner of our App competition is....

- Helen Dineen @aitcheldee

Here's her entry ...

I would love to see Meg’s Veg, by Helen Nicoll and Jan Pienkowski made into an app. Meg and Mog books would be brilliant on the iPad because they have such bright, bold colours, text stripped to the bone, and action on every page. Who could resist helping Meg and Mog to dig the garden, plant seeds, stake peas and thin carrots? You could help Mog to make his scarecrow (bagsy mine a HUGE hat) and put everything into the cauldron for Meg’s spells. And finally, help Meg, Mog and Owl to eat their veg!* (*actual real-life veg eating optional).
Helen wins a fabulous limited edition App Puppy canvas bag designed by Stephen Lenton stuffed with some of the Sniffer's fave books, a signed copy of Oliver Jeffer's The Hueys and the New Jumper

With hand drawn Huey!

AND a brand new Ipod Nano.


Follow Helen on Twitter @aitcheldee

THANK YOU to everyone who entered - all of your suggestions were marvellous.. here are a few of my faves!

I think Emily Gravett's Monkey & Me would make a great app, with it's fabulous illustrations & melodic refrain. I think it would be fun to animate the girl so you can see her mimic the animals. You could make use of the camera to encourage interactivity & get the child reading using the app to make animal noises. I think the pages showing the animals could have a feature where you can choose to see real life footage of animals. It would be great if the app included a  drawing masterclass from the author. It might also be fun to have a range of tights for the girl from stripy to spotty. In fact I think all her books could be fun apps
                                                         - Damyanti Patel

I would love to see Let's All Hide from Wibbly Pig by thelegendary Mick Inkpen made into an app. It would be so much fun to play hide-and-seek with Wibbly and hisfriends! It would be cool if readers could opt to pick the hiding places themselves,then pass the iPad to another person to do the seeking. The app could includelots of disguises for Wibbly’s friends to wear and a game to make sandwichesand cakes for a party afterwards. Ithink Mick’s drawings would work really well on an ipad too, as they are socute!

                                                                       - Caryl Hart

Ever since I got a smartphone, I've tried to accept that books as apps exist and are becoming increasingly popular, but I have resisted there allure thus far, but should I become weak and fall foul of such things there can only be one book that would reel me in, and that is 'not now Bernard' it is quite frankly the greatest children's book ever made, and as an app the wonderment can only be improved upon, a comprehensive 3D retelling with an audio track performed by Christopher walken, quite simply the only man capable of giving the correct amount of gravitas! An extra ending where you can direct the monsters to eat bernard's parents, an angry bird style interactive game where you can break various toys belonging to bernard! Put quite simply, this could be the greatest book app the world has seen!

                                                              - Giles Paley-Phillips

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Bizzy Bear Builds a House! - A Nosy Crow App

So it looks like our chum Bizzy Bear has been busy again, this time in a Grand Designs fashion he is helping his chums construct a house in this brand new Nosy Crow app.

With jolly bouncy music and voiced by some charmingly well spoken children, this welcome addition to the app collection perfectly compliments Bizzy Bear on the Farm.

There are familiar reoccurring points within the body of this story which will help prompt children in how to use this app.
We are invited onto the working building site and provided with a very smart yellow hard hat (glad they have paid due attention to health and safty protocol) from where Bizzy is encouraged with your help to drive diggers, deliver bricks, mix gravel and much more.
I particularly liked this cheeky little monkey (below) enjoying a good strong brew but not doing very much hard graft...

There are plenty of interactive elements on each page and changing narrative for extended entertainment. 
I really liked the fence painting activity which I found most gratifying.

This app also features the highlighted word function for reading along as well as options to change the length of the experience according to suit your reader.

Particular highlights for me, a real flushing portaloo, several google eyed pigeons bumbling about the place AND a monkey with the sawing abilities of a burly north American logger !

Bizzy Bear Builds a House is a fun packed hard days work without getting your hands dirty.
I wonder what Bizzy Bear will get up to next...

I am a huge huge fan of the illustrative prowess of
Mr Benji Davies and his work seems to fit these apps perfectly. The screen enhances the colours and the characters bounce around the pages like little jumping beans.  (Benji will be appearing on the Book Sniffer blog VERY soon)

Monday, 11 June 2012

The Singing Alphabet - A for AWESOME

The Book Sniffer recently reviewed Operation Alphabet on the Sniffer blog (which he loved BTW and you should most certainly check out) and it has been brought to my attention that there is an equally cool and addictive app to accompany the book.

The Singing Alphabet is pure-cool-genius in a bucket with a cherry on top.

You are whisked through a 3D paper cut version of the city featured in the book where upon you arrive on a screen displaying all the letters of the alphabet in all their retro cool glory, and now it's time to warm up your vocal chords.

As you touch each of the letters they begin their harmony in a jazz-tacular fashion as it sings its phonetic sound. You can add additional letters to your tune at any point and spell all sorts of funny words which the jolly letters will sing to you.


You will be mesmerised by the groovy tunes you create,  (move over Tom Jones, that's all I'm sayin')
If it all gets a bit much and the letters get a bit "shouty" there is a convenient Shhh button which instantly silences the letters ready for you to start all over again.

Simple-silly-super-cool-joyous-fun but also a fabulous tool for teaching little peeps to spell (they won't even realise tehehe.)
You may even run your iPad battery down chilling to these awesome tunes like I did - oops!
Move over Simple Simon there's a new spelling game in town.


Check out the Ministry of Letters website NOW  and download fun resources to go with the app also follow The Ministry on Twitter @moltweetdept #singingalphabet