October 23, 2017

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A (LONG) List of Recommended Apps

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Since 2011, School Library Journal has been choosing its “Top 10 Apps” of the year. Anyone who has ever tried to create a “Best of” list knows what an impossible task it is. But, on the road, speaking to groups about the quality apps available for children preschool through grade 12, we share a much longer, yet still selective, list. We’d like to make that list available to you. Look for periodic updates and a link on SLJ’s Facebook page. Feel free to link to this article from your website or Facebook page. For additional recommendations, commentary, and interviews with people in the field, visit Touch and Go under blogs and columns at slj.com, and be sure to add us to your RSS feed.

Picture Book Apps

Emma Loves Pink (by Piret Raud/WingedChariot)

Go Away, Big Green Monster! (by Ed Emberly/Night & Day Studios)

Ladybug Girl (by David Soman and Jacky Davis/Trilogy Touch)

Hildegard Sings  (by Thomas Wharton/One Hundred Robots)

Harold and the Purple Crayon (by Crockett Johnson/Trilogy Studios)

Pat the Bunny (by Dorothy Kunhardt/Random Digital)

Don’t Let the Pigeon Run this App! (by Mo Willems/Smart Planet Digital)

Spot the Dot (by David Carter/Ruckus Mobile Media)

Otter on His Own (by Doe Boyle/Oceanhouse Media)

How Rocket Learned to Read (by Tad Hills/Random House Digital)

Moonbot Studios’ The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, The Numberlys, &

Ruckus Mobile Media’s many stories, folk tales and legends, including Johnny
  & The Velveteen Rabbit

Where Do Balloons Go? (by Jamie Lee Curtis/Auryn, Inc.)

The Monster at the End of the Book…Starring Grover! (Sesame Workshop/Callaway
Digital Arts)

The Great Cookie Thief… A Sesame Street App Starring Cookie Monster (Sesame
Workshop/Callaway Digital Arts)

Press Here (by Hervé Tullet/Chronicle Books)

Sunday in Kyoto (Lyrics and Music by Gilles Vigneault/The Secret Mountain)

Moomin, Mymble and Little My (based on the title by Tove Jansson/Spinfy)

Pop Out! The Tale of Benjamin Bunny (by Beatrix Potter/Loud Crow Interactive)

Cinderella: A 3-D Fairy Tale (Illus. by Ed Bryan/Nosy Crow)

Will You Come for a Sleepover? (By Marianne Busser and Ron Schröder/Piccolo)

Tim on the Tiles (Tjibbe Veldkamp/Piccolo)

Boats (Byron Barton/Oceanhouse Media)

The Going to Bed Book (Sandra Boynton/Loud Crow)

Franklin Frog (by Barry Tranter and Emma Tranter/ Nosy Crow’s “Rounds”

Parker Penguin (Nosy Crow’s “Rounds” series)

Goodnight Moon (by Margaret Wise Brown/Loud Crow Interactive)

Fiction & Literature

Frankenstein (by Dave Morris, based on Mary Shelley’s novel/Inkle)

Moby-Dick: A Digital Odyssey (based on Herman Melville’s novel/Arcade)

Treasure Island (abridged ed. of Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel/Space Dogs)

T. S. Eliot’s The Wasteland (Touch Press)

Jack Kerouac’s On the Road (Penguin, 1KStudios)

Chopsticks (Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral/Penguin/ Citrus Suite)

Othello other titles from the “Shakesperience” series (Sourcebooks/iBooks)

Shakespeare’s Sonnets (Touch Press/ The Arden Shakespeare/ Faber and Faber Ltd.)

Chasing Fireflies: A Haiku Collection (trans. by Peter Beilenson/Honeybee Labs)

Horrible Hauntings (by Shirin Yim Bridges/Trigger)

Bottom of the Ninth (Ryan Woodward/Ryan Woodward Art & Animation)

Nonfiction & Reference Apps

Bats! Furry Fliers of the Night (by Mary Kay Carson /Bookerella, Story Services Ltd.)

Bobo Explores Light (by Craig Fusco/Game Collage, LLC; Juraj Hlaváč )

My First Classical Music App (by Genevieve Helsby and Jason Chapman/Naxos Digital)

X Is for X-Ray: An A to Z Look inside Everyday Objects (by Paul Rosenthal/Touch Press)

Barefoot World Atlas (by Nick Crane/Touch Press)

Britannica Kids: Ancient Egypt, Knights and Castles, Snakes, etc.

D-Day, Pearl Harbor, Gettysburg, and other titles in the “Great Battles” series (various/Amber)

Weird but True!  (National Geographic Society)

Brooklyn Bridge, The Parthenon, and The Taj Mahal (by Elizabeth Mann/ iBooks)

Annie Fox’s “Middle School Confidential” series (Free Spirit/Electric Eggplant)

“Our Amazing World” series: Antarctica, Penguins, and Owls  (Wayne Lynch/ Matchbook Press)

Beware Madame La Guillotine (by Sarah Towle/Time Traveler Tours, LLC)

Journey into the Deep (by Rebecca Johnson/Lerner)

The Wonders of Geology (by Michael Collier/Mikaya Press)

Al Gore’s Our Choice (by Al Gore/Melcher Media/Push Pop Press)

Fragile Earth (Collins)

Elements (Touch Press)

Journey to the Exoplanets (by Edward Bell, Ron Miller/FSG, Scientific American & Brandwidth)

Solar System (by Marcus Chown/Touch Press)

March of the Dinosaurs (hybrid fic/nonfic; Touch Press LLC, in conjunction with National Geographic &     Wide-Eyed Entertainment)

Gems and Jewels (by Lance Grande & Allison Augustyn/Touch Press)

Pyramids 3D (Touch Press)

Leonardo Da Vinci: Anatomy (by Martin Clayton/Touch Press)

Skulls (by Simon Winchester, Touch Press)

Building Titantic (National Geographic)

DK Human Body (by Steve Parker/Medi-Motion, Dorling Kindersley)

Tate Guide to Modern Art (by Simon Wilson with Jessica Lack and the Tate staff/ Tate Publishing/   Aimer  Media

Mini-Monsters (3D 4 Medical Science)

Fiske Interactive College Guide 2012 (Sourcebooks)

And finally, a few book-inspired game apps

Bunny Fun: Head, Shoulders, Knees, Toes (by Rosemary Wells/ Auryn, Inc./Fourth Story Media)

Dr. Seuss Band (Oceanhouse Media)

Elmo Calls (Sesame Workshop)

Where Is My Frog? (by Mercer Mayer/ Sterling Publishing)

Eric Carle’s My Very First App (Philomel/Night & Day Studios)

Counting with the Very Hungry Caterpillar (by Eric Carle/Penguin/Night & Day Studios)

Big Nate Comix by U! (by Lincoln Peirce /Night & Day Studios)

How to Rock Braces and Glasses (by Meg Haston/Hachette/Alloy Entertainment)

High School Bites (by Heather Brewer/Penguin)



Daryl Grabarek About Daryl Grabarek

Daryl Grabarek dgrabarek@mediasourceinc.com is the editor of School Library Journal's monthly enewsletter, Curriculum Connections, and its online column Touch and Go. Before coming to SLJ, she held librarian positions in private, school, public, and college libraries. Her dream is to manage a collection on a remote island in the South Pacific.



  1. I wish you’d put “Roxie’s a-MAZE-ing Vacation Adventure” on the game-apps-based-on-books list. It got 5 stars from Common Sense Media, 5 stars from Digital Storytime, was chosen as one of the Best Apps in the last two years by the Horn Book, and many other kudos, including from special needs groups. It’s based upon my 5 published maze books, two of which received SLJ stars.

  2. I would like to recommend the following App:
    “Time to have the talk with your little ones? The Facts of Life App helps get the conversation started. Try it for free this weekend! https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/the-facts-of-life-mobile/id683841006?mt=8


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