Lately, I find myself surrounded in fairy tales. When we go to the library or select a film, a standard question seems to be “is there a princess in it?” or “is it a fairy tale?” So, with witches, magical kisses, evil stepmoms and happily ever after in mind, here is a list of my favorite fairy tale-themed iPod/iPhone apps.
Bayou Beats (Walt Disney) – Free
This Disney app is less of an earnest application and more of an “advergame” to promote their Princess & the Frog animated film. However, it is still free and since Maia loves Princess Tiana enough to see the film three times, it was a must-download. Essentially a down-aged Tap Tap Revenge, the game moves to instrumental versions of soundtrack songs. As a toddler used to slower-paced titles, Maia seemed more interested in the quick character clips and music videos. The advergame-style app that came with the film Up seems to serve her interest more, with longer trailer clips and a basic pop-the-balloon game.
Kideos (Big Purple Hippos)– Free
This app was created to accompany the online destination Kideos.com. For those not familiar, Kideos is a kid-friendly video destination with much of the content pulled directly from YouTube and screened by a Video Advisory Council. The content is all easily categorized for navigation (Disney Channel Programs, Muppets, Sesame Street, etc). The app itself follows the same navigation, and even has a Fairy Tales and Disney Movies section where Maia can watch clips of her favorite princesses as well as new takes on classics. Maia’s only disappointment was the low quantity of Princess content compared to that on YouTube. However, I’ve quickly learned the dangers of exploring kid videos on an all-ages site (fan-made nude Disney Princesses, for example) and can truly appreciate Kideos’ product.
Both a modern and an age-old fairytale classic are brought to the iPod/iPhone platform thanks to expert e-storytellers PicPocket Books.
Papa Gatto is adapted from a book by prolific writer/illustrator Ruth Sanderson. The story was published in 1999 to glowing reviews from publications like the School Library Journal. This story focuses on Papa Gatto, the feline advisor to the prince who learns that beauty is only skin deep. Sanderson’s illustrations are just as vibrant on a smaller screen and the accompanying narration perfectly matches the tone of the story. For this title, PickPocket has also added interactive audio “hot spots” that trigger animal sounds.
Sleeping Beauty takes the timeless story of a teenager under the spell of evil and adds beautiful, sophisticated illustrations. Martina Müller’s watercolors give this tale a look that feels as classic as the fairy tale itself. The app also makes sure you get to enjoy the illustrations taken from the book by taking sweeping views of them between the narrations.
Make Me a Princess (Rock Island Entertainment) – $.99
Princess-loving girls will be princess-loving girls. So a harmless dress-up game like Make Me a Princess may be spot-on for what your little majesty-in-the-making is looking for. This basic app starts with the selection of skin and eye color, then goes on to the real princess details. A wide selection of hair styles, tiaras, dresses, shoes and accessories are all available for the choosing. You can also name your princess and save her in the gallery for later admiration. A fairly basic app, but one that serves the purpose for younger girls who love princess dress-up play and are too young to engage on social network-style dress-up game.
Audiobooks (Download Edition) (Cross Forward Consulting, LLC) – $.99
Audiobooks (Download Edition) is perhaps the best $.99 I have spent in a long time. And apparently 1 million other people agree with me based on their downloads count. I originally chanced upon this while looking for audiobooks of fairy tales and nursery rhymes to listen to in the car. This app has direct access to 2,800 classic, free, public domain works including a large selection of fairy tales, fables, and children’s books. While some may be a little dark for today’s young audience, there are plenty of jewels here to entertain during rides. And once the little ones leave the car, you can get your Lovecraft or Austen on. The app is free if you want to stream the books and $.99 if you want to download the books. The audio recordings are taken from the renowned LibriVox project.
Any apps that leave you feeling “happily ever after”? Comment below!