Thursday, February 14, 2013

Hooray for the Cybils!! Winners are announced today!

Each year I turn to the Cybils Awards to learn about books that kids are really going to like, and that are really well written. These awards specifically choose books that meet both criteria. As they write on the Cybils website,
"If some la-di-dah awards can be compared to brussel sprouts, and other, more populist ones to gummy bears, we’re thinking more like organic chicken nuggets. We’re yummy and nutritious."
For the past two years, I have had the great honor of working with the Cybils team to organize the Cybils Book App Awards. We have carefully considered over 80 nominated books apps, looking at storyline, interactive features, narration, illustrations, and overall child appeal. This award stands out for considering the literary merit of book apps, not just their technical achievements.

Today, the winning books are announced and I couldn't be happier! Our round 1 judges chose an excellent panel of finalists, and the round 2 judges agreed that one app rose to the top:
Dragon Brush
by Andy Hullinger and John Solimine
developed by Small Planet Digital
winner of the 2012 Cybils Book App Award
ages 4 - 8
available on iTunes
What would you paint if you had a magic paintbrush? Would you paint all the riches you might want? But what might happen if an evil lord tries to steal this away? Dragon Brush takes children into this scene, using interactive features to draw children along but never overwhelming the story.

Dragon Brush embodies all that the Cybils stands for: an excellent story that draws children back to it again and again. Children are fascinated with the interactive features, revealing the intricate paintings that magically come to life, and finding each of the hidden inkpots.

I want to send a special thanks to our wonderful team of judges: Alyson Beecher, Sara Bryce, Helen Dineen, Carisa Kluver, Elisabeth LeBris, Lalitha Nataraj, Cathy Potter, Melissa Wiley and Paula Willey. Each one added thoughtful comments and we all learned so much from one another. I feel lucky to have so many colleagues throughout the blogging world helping me explore this wonderful world of book apps.

All of the Cybils winners are fantastic. Take some time to peruse this wonderful resource and find great books to share with your kids. Read about other book apps here on my blog, Great Kid Books.

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