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Appy Monday! Get nostalgic with Me Books

Regular readers will know by now that we are huge fans of the iPad and the potential it has both to entertain and engage children. We love books too and think that there is definitely a place for both in childhood - we especially love it when our two passions come together beautifully like in our pick this week.

Today we are reviewing some really lovely apps - Me Books -  brought to you from Made In Me and Penguin. These apps bring the bookshelves of our childhood to life on the iPad and are a lovely way to introduce your children to the books you loved as a child. I still have some of these little Penguin Classic books and so have enjoyed reading them to my daughter and then showing her the interactive version alongside.

Me Books are innovative picture book apps that allows parents and children to interact with and personalize picture books in an entirely new way. When you download the app (69p) you get the Ladybird Classic "The Zoo" with it and then you can download thirteen additional titles, including Cinderella, Gingerbread Man, Jack and The Beanstalk and The Three Billy Goats Gruff, which are available through In-App Purchase at £1.99 each.

So what can you do with it and why shouldn't you just read a book? The app includes a range of innovative features that make them good fun for children and different from reading the book. You can watch this short video below to understand more:

· You can create interactive audio ‘hotspots’ anywhere on the page by drawing around images or text with your fingers and then record any sound you want so that you can narrate the story anyway you like

· You can bring the story to life by touching hotspots that already exist on the pages and listen to the sound effects  (such as the trumpeting of an elephant to the chattering of monkeys in The Zoo) and  commentary.

Basically you have the choice of reading the story the same way each time, or together with your child making your own sound effects and commentary which is really good fun for children and a great way to alleviate the tedium of reading a favourite story over and over again! North London Toddler loved making animal noises to The Zoo and was even quite good at it!

What we loved:
We absolutely love the look of these apps. They combine nostalgia with a modern look in the nicest way we've seen anything done on the iPad and are a real pleasure for adults to use. Useability is also really good as the instructions are clear and the pages easy to navigate through. Thumbs up for this.

What we didn't: 
We would have liked to see additional books being cheaper. We would have preferred to pay £1.99 initially (or even £2.49 as quality is very high) and then 69p to add to our bookshelves. £1.99 per book feels quite steep to us and means that sadly our bookshelf is staying quite small for now.

Vital Stats:

Cost: Initial app costs 69p then to buy more books costs £1.99 each. There are 13 titles available currently.
Availability: iPad and iPhone (we think this is most suited to the iPad)

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