Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Announcing the Cybils Awards: Book Apps and more!

I am super-excited to announce the finalists in the Cybils Book App award. This week, I'll be sharing more about each of these apps. These book apps combine the best literary and technical qualities with big kid appeal. They draw children and teens back to them again and again, engaging kids in different ways with each reading.
Disney Animated
written by Disney
developed by Touch Press
Disney Animated is a richly layered multimedia book app that takes readers behind the scenes to see all the different aspects that go into creating animated feature films. It's a combination of movie magic, coffee table book, and museum visit rolled into one.
Endless Alphabet
written and developed by Originator, Inc.
iTunes or Google Play
Endless Alphabet is a superb, interactive, picture dictionary app for kids from preschool through early grade school. Combining unique words with clever illustrations and animation, adding silly monsters and unforgettable sounds
written by Cornelia Funke
developed by Mirada Studios
MirrorWorld is a companion app to Cornelia Funke’s fantasy novels Reckless and Fearless. Whether documenting animated fencing instructions or telling how Jacob Reckless first met the treasure hunter Albert Chanute, this app is both an intriguing introduction for those new to the world and exciting backstory for fans who want more.
To This Day
written by Shane Koyczan
developed by Moving Tales, Inc.
Shane Koyczan's spoken word poem To This Day shares his experience dealing with violence, bullying and harassment in school in a searingly honest way. The app takes Koyczan's live performance and adds animation and artwork created by multiple artists, making the anti-bullying message even stronger.
Wee You-Things
written and developed by Wee Society LLC
Wee You-Things is joyful celebration of what makes each of us unique. This charming book app simply introduces a colorful parade of friends each with his or her own quirk, but in doing so it conveys a message we all need to hear.

Over the last two months, a team of five bloggers has been diligently reading and evaluating nearly 70 nominated book apps. We bring to our task a wide range of experiences: teachers, parents, librarians. We have noticed the app market is certainly developing; we read many excellent apps, and our final decisions were difficult, indeed. We considered the quality of writing, illustration, narration and interactive design. Each needs to contribute in order to draw kids into these multimedia reading experiences.

Head over to the Cybils Awards to check out all the finalists, from books for early readers to young adult fiction. I love the way these awards celebrate the best of children's literature with a real sense of what appeals to kids. Each year, I seek out these books to share with my own students and they are big hits.

Enjoy exploring all these new book apps. I will be delving into more depth on these apps throughout the next week.

Many thanks to the Cybils book app team: Jen Vincent, Aaron Maurer, Jill Goodman and Jackie Parker. You each brought so much to our discussions.

©2014 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

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