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Appy Monday! Apps and the art of reading

So- your little one is taking an interest in reading (yey)- but there must be an app for that? The answer is yes- there are many. We particularly love the ebookstore MeeGenius.

MeeGenius is a virtual bookstore which offers over 300 children's titles. There are Apple and Android MeeGenius Apps, as well as an app for Google TV and the web. MeeGenius digitizes children's stories, classic and new, and adds features such as word highlighting and audio playback for easy read-along. It's clever in that if you have a free MeeGenius account you can sync up the books you have bought across a number of devices, including the web.

We've been using the iPhone version of the app. The iPhone app has vibrant graphics, and is simply organised into categories - Featured, Browse, Collections, and Free. The Collections are organised by topic and also by publisher- featuring publishers such as Sylvan Dell who specialise in children's and educational books, and Raventree Press, publishers of children's picture books.

For each title you have the option to sample before you buy. Once you've bought the book, you can either read it yourself or read along with a narrator. As you read along with the narrator, the relevant word is highlighted, which is a great tool for children learning to read and recognise words.

Books range from $1.99 to $4.99, and we've found some really lovely stories such as "Jimmy Jammers" and "The Lucky Day Picnic"

What we loved: Each book is easy for a child to follow, and provides a geat solution for our tech-savvy little ones who are just reaching the point where they are keen to read.

What we didn't: the bookstore is  US focussed so don't expect to find any of your familiar UK children's authors or publishers- and it would be great to get some UK children's publishers featured.

Vital Stats:
Cost: Free (but you buy individual books)
Compatible with: iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, Android and Google TV. 

Try it out and let us know what you think!

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