The iTunes store has no shortage of fairy tale-themed apps and eBooks. A quick search for any of your favorite Hans Christian Andersen or Brothers Grimm stories will turn up hundreds of options for both “free” (quotations marks very intentional)  and paid options. Unfortunately, many of them feature artwork right out of a bad Disney rip-off film. As for the game-play, I never get that far. Of course, pretty art doesn’t always equal an engaging app either, so after going on a few fairy tale app journeys, we came back with a few favorites.

Hansel and Gretel: Lost by PB&J Publishing The beautiful, bright hand-drawn illustrated style of  Chilean artist Alvaro Pantoja Busch is what initially brought this app to my attention. The experience itself measures up to the art, with 21 interactive pages including 60 points of interaction. For my two girls, stuffing the two lost siblings full of witch house candy is a twenty minute activity in itself! The classic Grimm tale is also updated for modern children with the evil, child-dumping step-mom removed and Gretel re-positioned as a joke-cracking  girl-power role model.

hansgret2 Hansel and Gretel
Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty:  3D Interactive Pop-up Book by StoryToys With this app, StoryToys Entertainment proves they are a company that fully realizes the power of the tablet platform.  This app takes the traditional pop-up book concept and lets young users play around and interact with the illustrations within the book.  Created to appear like an open book on a table, users read along and participate in 11 interactive 3D pop-up scene activities. My 2-year-old could not get enough of dressing up Briar Rose’s fairy friends and finding her way through a magic maze. Less scary than the Disney version and with added humor, Sleeping Beauty is a great intro to the StoryToys line.

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Lil’ Red – An Interactive Story by Brian Main Lil’ Red caught my eye after seeing a screenshot of its big-eyed heroine –  the creation of talented artist and illustrator Brian Main. Created solely in the stark pallet of black, white and red, the story of Little Red Riding Hood is given a humorous kid-safe update. Best of all, this app leaves it to the parent – or the child – to interpret the story; with animation, music and basic interactions being the main driver of the tale.  The wordless eBook approach, combined with the 3-color pallet and unique character illustrations, makes for a one-of-a-kind app experience.

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Cinderella by Nosy Crow Nosy Crow’s Cinderella features a beautifully sophisticated hand-drawn look and feel that is comparable to classic children’s property Charlie & Lola. Artist Ed Bryan’s brunette take on the one-shoed princess is infused with just enough visual humor and magic to set it apart from the countless other takes on this classic tale. In-story interactions are a must for eBooks, and Cinderella doesn’t disappoint, even utilizing the front facing camera. Young players will spend hours helping Cinderella clean the kitchen, dress her sisters for the ball, build her pumpkin carriage, and even choose the music for her dance with the Prince.

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Do you have a favorite fairy tale app? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Boo! Halloween season continues at Nugget Island as we present our special YouTube playlist of non-stop Halloween goodness for the kiddos. Tune in via your smart TV, set-top box or old-fashioned laptop for classic clips from Disney, kindie music videos, and much more. Click here to get access to it on YouTube or watch below.

[youlist pid="PLwuiLMyRQKqgCUrObR23WNvKLXmqjLNTU"]

The Mini R/C is back again. This time being madeover as mini robots called Zibits. (Playthings)

Makedo is a kit of reusable connectors that lets kids build original creations with discarded items like cardboard, plastic, and fabric. (Bambino Goodies)

Stan Lee and Japanese animé house Studio Bones will screen their new animated series Heroman at MipTV. (C21Media)

The Smiley Company has launched AniSmiley, a preschool-targeted property created to teach 2-to-5-year olds about emotions. (License Magazine)

A new t-shirt from T-Post uses augmented reality technology to let users play Rock-Paper-Scissors. (Springwise)

The wonderful *Insert Literary Blog Name Here* has a list of “10 Graphic Novels You Wish You’d Read Sooner.”

Nick Jr. has picked up U.S. broadcast syndication rights to the amazing CGI-animated preschool series Pocoyo. (THR)

A new CGI Bob the Builder series has premiered on the UK’s Cbeebies. (

Disney Store will introduce eco-friendly products in honor of Earth Day to benefit The Nature Conservancy’s Adopt a Coral Reef program. (Kidscreen)


Gozer Games has released Zombie Ninja Pirates,  a new card game for teens and up that has nothing to do with the iPad. (ICv2)

Scotland will be releasing their first full-length animated feature film as Glasgow-based Billi Productions Ltd and independent studio Glasgow Animation start post-production on the new animated family film Sir Billi. (PR NEwswire)

Pook-a-Looz Toys

A very classic kid’s I.P. is headed to the big screen. 1938 kid’s book Mr. Popper’s Penguins is being adapted with Ben Stiller starring. (CinemaBlend)

I think I’m in love with Disney’s Etsy-esque Pook-a-Looz Toys.

Lucasfilm Animation working on a Star Wars comedic animated series with Robot Chicken creators Seth Green and Matthew Senreich, on board to write. (ICv2)

Grow Gabba Gabba: This peschool TV show is taking over the airwaves and toy shelves worldwide with a slew of new deals in place. (

Greenzys are positioned as  eco-friendly Webkinz, and will launch exclusively at toy retailer FAO Schwarz this month. (Playthings)

Great CGI cartoon short to share: Meet Meline is about a little girl and a mysterious creature in her grandparents barn. (Cartoon Brew)

We’re back! We were having some fun battling the little one’s stomach bug and conjunctivitis but all is back to normal.

The Romance Writers of America have announced the finalists for their 2010 Awards and there is a Young Adult category. (Kid Lit)

Paramount Pictures is optioning Tony DiTerlizzi’s The Search For WondLa, the first book in a new series. (Deadline NEw York)

Gardening with Sesame
Gardening with Sesame

Hallmark’s e-card characters Hoops and Yoyo will get their own TV holiday movie this year. (Animation Magazine)

California-based start-up Vook integrates text, video and social networking to create a new online and mobile application reading concept. (Springwise)

A new CGI HD series called Escape Hockey will be produced in two versions: a standard TV series and an interactive version that allows kids to play mini-games along with the show. (Kidscreen)

Just in time for Spring: Sesame Street seeds and gardening items are being sold at at Lowe’s. (License Book Blog)

AT&T is using program integration within the CW television series Melrose Place to spread its public service message about the dangers of texting and driving. (MediaPost)

Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism, is to be explored in a future episode of Arthur. A great way to explore this topic with your little ones, the episode will air April 5th on PBS Kids. (Mommy Niri)

The CEO of F+W Media has pointed out there is a crucial feature missing in the iPad’s e-book store: picture books. (Business Insider)

Stop-motion lives on! Director Henry Selick has signed a deal to make more stop-motion features for Disney/Pixar. (Variety)