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Geeks With Juniors is a weblog about (geek) parenting and technology. Our posts are mostly iPad/iPhone app reviews showcasing the best apps on the App Store.

Thursday
Mar052015

Hilda Bewildered is a Thought-Provoking Graphic Story for Teens

Hilda Bewildered is a fantastic graphic story for teens that explores various social issues

Despite the App Store being home to lots of wonderful, interactive books, most of the available titles are geared towards ages 6 and below. On the contrary, book apps for older children are rare. In the three years that we’ve been reviewing apps, we have only written about a handful of book apps for adolescents. Among these was The Artifacts, a poignant tale about a boy who has to cope with losing his immense collections of things after moving to a new home.

Today, I want to introduce you to a new book app that is just as fantastic as The Artifacts. It’s made by the same developer, and titled Hilda Bewildered. It is a deeply provoking story about an European princess and her imaginary doppelgänger, whom she devises to escape the pressures of being a celebrity.

The Plot

In a non-specified European country, Princess Hilda is to deliver a speech as a rite of passage. The thought of speaking in front of a live audience terrifies her, so she conjures an alter-ego, the “Other Hilda”, a petty pickpocket who goes unnoticed in a crowd.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Mar042015

Eli Explorer Helps Kids Learn Their First 100 Words

Speech is a big milestone in your toddler’s development. There are many ways you can help your little one build her vocabulary, but a sure fun way is with the help of Eli Explorer. Developed by Colto, it’s an interactive app that aims to help kids learn their first 100 words and phrases in a fun way.

Eli Explorer has more than 20 fun animations to help kids learn their first 100 words

Let’s Explore

Kids start by waking up Eli, a cute rabbit with propeller ears, who is sound asleep on a cloud. Using their finger, they guide him through a colorful world to uncover more than 20 fun animations and interactions: jamming with a band of monster under the mountain, picking fruits, bouncing on mushrooms, feeding chameleons, and many more.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar032015

Steam Train, Dream Train App is a Wacky Bedtime Story for Train Lovers

Steam Train, Dream Train is a terrific bedtime story for kids who love trainsSteam Train, Dream Train is a terrific bedtime story for kids who love trains

A few months ago, we reviewed a bedtime book app called Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld. It follows a group of hardworking trucks as they prepare for bed at a big construction site. Filled with rhyming text and vivid illustrations, it’s a charming story that will satisfy truck lovers of all ages.

Today, we are happy to review the follow-up to the app, called Steam Train, Dream Train. It’s written and illustrated by the same team, and just as beautifully adapted for iOS.

All Aboard the Dream Train

In the dark of night, a train arrives at the station with whistles blaring. But this is no ordinary train; a vibrant scene soon reveals a lively crew of monkeys, rabbits, kangaroos, and various other animals. They quickly get to work, stowing all sorts of cargo onto their designated train cars.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Mar022015

Setting YouTube Parental Controls is Much Easier Now with the New YouTube Kids App

YouTube Kids app curates and filters age-appropriate content for kids.YouTube Kids app curates and filters age-appropriate content for kids.

Both my sons watch YouTube videos quite regularly. My five-year-old Philip loves to watch DIY arts and crafts, origami tutorials, and Asphalt 8 videos, whereas his younger brother loves to watch the Super Simple Songs channel.

The single parental control I use is allowing them to watch these YouTube videos only when I’m around. Thankfully, Google has released a new YouTube Kids app that is designed with a simple design and age-appropriate videos.

Watch Curated and Filtered YouTube Contents

The new YouTube Kids categorizes its content into five sections: Recommended, Shows, Music, Learning, and Explore. Each section contains filtered YouTube contents that can be watched without having to register or login. Comments are also hidden in this app.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb262015

The Amazing Quest, the forgotten treasure Promotes Reading Comprehension and Problem-Solving Skills

The Amazing Quest, the forgotten treasure promotes reading comprehension by requiring kids to solve puzzles to advance the storyThe Amazing Quest, the forgotten treasure promotes reading comprehension by requiring kids to solve puzzles to advance the story

Interactive storybooks are like a double-edged sword: they can persuade the most reluctant readers, but if poorly designed the interactive features just distract from actually reading. The best storybook apps for kids should be designed in a way where the interactions drive the story instead, just like in Chocolapps’s new app, The Amazing Quest, the forgotten treasure.

Released last week, the app is a book/game hybrid where you piece together various puzzles to advance the story. It includes not just one, but five alternate stories across varied and colorful environments.

The Forgotten Treasure

The main plot in The Amazing Quest, the forgotten treasure is about an adventurous child who tails two explorers on their quest for treasure, and outsmarts them before running off with the loot. It is presented in different environments depending on the alternative you choose, for example, there is an Asian version, a pirate version, and an Egyptian version. There are also versions set in the Middle Ages and the Far West.

Click to read more ...

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