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July 24, 2014

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Pierre et le loup | Touch and Go

Pierre et le loup (Camera Lucida/Radio France/France Télévisions)

Sergueï Prokofiev’s ‘Peter and the Wolf’ is often a child’s first introduction to the orchestra. This delightful production of that musical story that can be enjoyed by those miles away from a concert hall….

Tap & Touch: Recommended apps for early learning

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When it comes to children under the age of two and screen time, early learning specialists and the American Academy of Pediatrics don’t recommend it. For ages two to five? Most experts agree that limited, “intentional and developmentally appropriate” use is acceptable. Here are our recommendations of a few apps that meet that criteria.

This article was published in School Library Journal's July 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

The World of Plants | Touch and Go

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Readers of ‘Kids Discover’ magazine know that it is packed with fabulous photos, fascinating facts, and amusing activities; this app, which was adapted from an issue of the magazine, contains all those features, and more.

Celebrating Dad and Mom | Touch and Go

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Parental love is celebrated in two apps for the preschool crowd from Snappyant. With Father’s Day on the horizon, these may be just the apps for the family iPad.

Incredible Numbers and iF Poetry | Best of Apps & Enhanced Books, June

Incredible Numbers ©Touch Press/Profile Books.

There’s poetry in numbers as iPad viewers discover this month.

This article was published in School Library Journal's June 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

‘Shakespeare at Play’ | Touch and Go

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The plays, sonnets, and life of William Shakespeare have long fascinated scholars and thespians. Recently, both these groups have turned their attention to producing digital resources for students. Rick Chisholm Productions enters the arena with ‘Shakespeare at Play.’

Shaun Tan’s ‘Rules of Summer’ | Touch and Go

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Scholastic, the publisher of ‘The Arrival,’ ‘The Bird King,’ and other titles by Shaun Tan, released his ‘Rules of Summer’ late last month. Fans of this author/illustrator will recognize some familiar, characteristic elements in this series of “tableaux” featuring two boys at large in their world during the summer holidays. The app offers 11 language options.

Creepers & Peepers | Touch and Go

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The sounds and habitats of several small creatures are featured in three apps produced by Dawn Publications, a company known for its close-up views of the natural world. Luminous artwork in vibrant colors, and light, effective animations will engage children as they learn about insects, amphibians, and a meadow mouse.

An Elegant Proof: ‘Incredible Numbers’ on the iPad | Touch and Go

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“Math is Beautiful” states Ian Stewart, and along with the production team at Touch Press, he delivers an elegant proof of that claim in ‘Incredible Numbers,’ a visual exploration of mathematical concepts.

Who Said Poetry Month Is Over? | Touch and Go

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While National Poetry Month may be officially over, interest in great poems well delivered, never wanes. In this column we look at three very different digital anthologies that include verse. To quote the editors of one collection, we have poets “ancient and modern, fusty and frisky, famous and forgotten,” and to that we might add, a few rising stars.

Down with the Dinos | Touch and Go

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With brief texts offering a touch of dino drama and some basic facts, Oceanhouse Media’s “Smithsonian Prehistoric Pals” series, based on books by Dawn Bentley, have found an enthusiastic audience with young children. The developer has recently added some new titles to this list; two are reviewed today.

Writing and Racing with Geronimo Stilton | Touch and Go

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Not many mice can boast a series of books, graphic novels, and audiobooks, and a website and newspaper, unless of course, it’s Geronimo Stilton. And now the prolific journalist/editor/adventurer has added an app to his oeuvre, brought to us via Scholastic.

Waterfalls, Geysers, & Turbines |Touch and Go

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“In Stockholm, Sweden, researchers have found a way to create usable energy from the excess body heat generated by the quarter million commuters who pass through the city’s train station every day.” This fact and a look at our use of energy—yesterday and today—can be found in a new app from Kids Discover.

Barefoot World Atlas; Jack and the Beanstalk | App Reviews

Barefoot World Atlas: Great Cities (Crane)  © David Dean.

New Informational apps and a well-known character take viewers on trips around the world and up a beanstalk.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

‘Love, the app’ | Touch and Go

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The winners of the 2014 Bologna Ragazzi Digital Award were recently announced; Gian Berto Vanni’s ‘Love, the app’ took the top prize in the fiction category.

Maps, Globes, and a Few Lessons in Geography | Touch and Go

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Join us for a look at some recent geography releases for early elementary to middle school students. The apps offer different approaches to the topic; together they cover both physical and human geography.

Nosy Crow’s ‘Jack and The Beanstalk’ | Touch and Go

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The award-winning British digital developer with a distinct approach to fairy tales has a new app, and it’s something to crow about.

Best of Apps & Enhanced Books

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This month’s selection of apps take viewers on journeys: following threads of of invention across time, and to Shakespeare’s works, in a presentation designed especially for students.

This article was published in School Library Journal's March 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss! | Touch and Go

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Once again it’s time to raise a few balloons as we celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday (March 2) with a roundup of his stories and Seuss-inspired titles, released as apps within the past 12 months.

The Intergalactic Duo Is Back & Bowling | Touch and Go

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Capturing kids’ interest through games and badges is generally effective, but the trivia game ‘Ansel and Clair: American Bowl’ makes it clear that careful consideration must be given to both pacing and learning opportunities.