Twenty outstanding book apps have been nominated for the Cybils Award this year so far. I'm a judge in that category, so I am very excited to get a look at all of them. BUT I WANT MORE.
The Cybils are one of the best annual awards out there, for my money. Anyone can nominate a book or app in each of 13 categories, and then the nominees go through two rounds of discussion by teams of panelists. The finalists in each category end up being very nice shortlists of the year's best in children's and teen literature.
But do not take my word for it. Have a look at the current nominees, and then nominate your favorites. You have to register, but it's almost nothing. The nomination form is really streamlined this year, thanks to the excellent work of Sheila Ruth of Wands and Worlds. Easy on the eyes too.
Sometimes when the obvious choices have been nominated, it's hard to think up other worthy titles. So let me help you out in "my" category. If you have an iPad, or if you have a Kindle Fire or the fancy Nook or whatever - I think most of the good book apps are for iPad but I am open minded - take a look at these UN NOMINATED AS OF YET apps and... what? is it complicated? Nominate one!
The majority of the book apps that have been nominated are picture books or fiction for little kids. But me, I LIKE MATH AND SCIENCE. Try these:
Isopod: The Roly Poly Science Game. The developer asks: "Is it a video game that kids absolutely love? Or is it a sophisticated entomology textbook covering important science topics, such as beneficial insects in agriculture, biodiversity preservation and invasive species awareness?" Well, I'd like to decide that for myself, so somebody nominate it!
NASA Viz - FREE app with stunning NASA images and information. Space really glows on the iPad.
Brian Cox's Wonders of the Universe - Not all physicists are former pop stars, but a surprising number of them do know how to rock out.
All-ages and STUNNING, try Wonders of Geology.
More of a news feed than a proper book, Spaced is still very worth consideration, in my opinion. It features content from all the world space agencies, not just NASA.
OR... simulate your own journey through the solar system with Cosmographia.
I admit, I do not have a lot of faith in the Britannica Kids apps. I reviewed one once for Touch and Go, the School Library Journal apps blog, and I was not impressed. Not enough multimedia, clunky navigation. However, I would love to have another run at them, see if they've improved per my suggestions (*snrt!). Nominate Aztec Empire so I can have a look.
And two SPECTACULAR story apps:
The Numberlys. Brand new from William Joyce, who last year gave us The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore, if this doesn't get nominated, it would be a tragedy. Do it.
Silent History. Ongoing story told in testimonials - sort of like World War Z - about the spread of an epidemic. I downloaded the first chapter, and it was enough to make me want to commit to the whole thing. Really cool design and visuals, quiet and ominous story. Finally an illustrated iPad book for older children and adults.