Books by Oceanhouse Media

GOODNIGHT, GOODNIGHT, CONSTRUCTION SITE by Sherri Duskey Rinker
CHILDREN'S
Released: Nov. 7, 2014

"Watching a bunch of trucks at work. Life doesn't get much better. And these guys talk to you. (iPad storybook app. 3-6)"
A jaunty tour through an urban construction site extends the best-selling picture book's audience to young app users. Read full book review >
HOW I BECAME A PIRATE by Melinda Long
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 17, 2014

"A lively alternative to the 2003 print version, with judicious audio and interactive tweaks but blessedly free of games and like silly distractions. (iPad storybook app. 6-8)"
Pans, zooms, gruff vocals and piratical sound effects add even more swash to the buckles of young Jeremy's first encounter with Braid Beard and his disreputable crew. Read full book review >
ALPHABET OF INSECTS by Barbie Heit Schwaeber
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 11, 2014

"Budding naturalists, even younger ones, can easily find more dependable and systematic guides to their backyard biota. (iPad informational app. 5-8)"
Digital tweaks add interactive features to this edition of an insect ABC (originally packaged in 2007 as a book/CD set). Read full book review >
SABER-TOOTH TRAP by Dawn Bentley
CHILDREN'S
Released: Dec. 10, 2013

"This straightforward app will appeal to young readers fascinated by the prehistoric period. (iPad informational app. 4-8)"
A prehistoric saber-toothed cat roams in search of his next meal in this introduction for preschoolers. Read full book review >
CHRIS P. BACON by Oceanhouse Media
CHILDREN'S
Released: Dec. 3, 2013

"Smooth of presentation, if simple of message; the very small, very pink, very photogenic piggy in the lead role helps to compensate for his saccharine delivery. (photo album appended) (iPad storybook app. 5-8)"
Paired with a mix of snapshots and cartoon art, a (real) piglet born without functional hind legs offers a sugary memoir retracing his climb to YouTube and TV celebrity. Read full book review >
I LOVE YOU TOO by Ziggy Marley
CHILDREN'S
Released: Nov. 21, 2013

"Nevertheless, while the repetitive refrains pile up near the beginning and the end, the message is one kids will probably never tire of hearing: 'I love you too / I love you too / I tell you I love you.' (iPad storybook app. 2-5)"
A song-turned-storybook app from the second track on Marley's Grammy-winning children's album, Family Time.Read full book review >
BYRON BARTON COLLECTION #1 by Byron Barton
CHILDREN'S
Released: June 18, 2013

Barton's books about transportation are notable for their spare simplicity and bright pop-art illustrations; here, four gain added value with features that both entertain and encourage reading skills.

Introducing the setting for each mode of transport, the books open simply: "On the road," "In the sky," etc. Each subsequent page then highlights a different type of truck, airplane, etc., and with a true minimum of words conveys a good bit of information about their functions. "Planes" and "Boats" focus on the passenger jet and cruise ship as specific types, while "Trains" and "Trucks" concentrate on what they do. To assist early readers, words zoom up and are spoken when objects in the pictures are touched, and all words are highlighted as they are read; Oceanhouse's signature style is an excellent complement to Barton's simple compositions and text. Young readers will enjoy moving the vehicles, people and even the clouds while realistic (and optional) sound effects such as honks, murmured speech and engine noise play in the background. Extra movement is provided by subtle animations. A drop-down bar gives easy access to the audio options, page selection and information tabs.

Bright, simple and loaded with big machines—a steam engine, a fire boat and even a crop-duster, among others—this app is sure to appeal to young transportation enthusiasts. (iPad informational app. 2-5)Read full book review >
ON BEYOND BUGS by Oceanhouse Media
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 29, 2013

"A solid once-over, with systematic digital enhancements that will draw a buzz from newly independent readers. (iPad informational app. 5-8)"
A tap-happy reader's dream guide to common insects—presented by Thing 1 and Thing 2 with the Cat in the Hat as impresario. Read full book review >
JUST ME AND MY LITTLE BROTHER by Mercer Mayer
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 11, 2013

"By this time, both Little Critter and the 'omBook' are tried-and-true brands, so there's a feeling of sameness about both story and treatment that will reassure many children even as it, perhaps, fails to thrill their parents. (iPad storybook app. 2-5)"
Oceanhouse applies its characteristically clean treatment to a Mayer standard. Read full book review >
MCELLIGOT'S POOL by Dr. Seuss
by Dr. Seuss, illustrated by Dr. Seuss, developed by Oceanhouse Media
CHILDREN'S
Released: Jan. 9, 2013

"Another solid Seuss adaptation from Oceanhouse, which allows readers to hook plenty of goodies. (iPad storybook app. 3-7)"
In this iPad adaptation of the Seuss classic, a young fisherman is undeterred by the warning that there is nothing but trash where he is fishing. A little imagination and a lot of Seuss-ian descriptives make this a productive expedition indeed. Read full book review >
THE BIPPOLO SEED AND OTHER LOST STORIES by Dr. Seuss
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 27, 2011

"Overall, the disappointingly bland treatment stifles the Seussian silliness readers expect. (iPad storybook app. 6-9)"
This "omBook" adaptation of the newly released posthumous collection of seven Seuss stories is a sadly telling demonstration of the dangers of one-size-fits-all app development. Read full book review >
ONCE UPON A POTTY - GIRL by Alona Frankel
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 31, 2011

"A familiar story and illustrations enhanced with interactivity give this classic new life. (iPad storybook app. 1-3)"
Interactive and entertaining, this 1975 classic that has been introducing kids to the potty for years adapts well to the iPad, integrating amusing sound effects, interesting use of page transition and even a sing-a-long. Read full book review >
ONCE UPON A POTTY - BOY by Alona Frankel
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 31, 2011

"A familiar story and illustrations enhanced with interactivity give this classic new life. (iPad storybook app. 1-3)"
Interactive and entertaining, this 1975 classic that has been introducing kids to the potty for years adapts well to the iPad, integrating amusing sound effects, interesting use of page transition and even a sing-a-long. Read full book review >
ELMER'S SPECIAL DAY by David McKee
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 9, 2011

The patchwork pachyderm again finds a way to wage peace. Read full book review >
IT'S TYRANNOSAURUS REX! by Dawn Bentley
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 19, 2011

"Interactive features are so limited that, platform aside, there isn't much to choose between this and the print edition. (iPad informational storybook app. 7-9)"
A melodramatic but gore-free introduction to T. Rex for younger and weak-stomached dino-fans. Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S

Mike Berenstain continues his parents' franchise with an evangelical emphasis in books and now in apps. Sister Bear has just received a golden locket from her parents, but she doesn't understand what it says inside: "Do to others what you would have them do to you." Soon enough, Sister learns the lesson when her friends at school mistreat a new student, a bear with thick glasses, braces and the wrong kinds of clothes. The app makes good use of white space on the iPad's large screen for its text. The narration and unobtrusive navigation—just a small arrow on the bottom-left of the screen to return to the Main Menu, as in other apps from developer Oceanhouse Media—make for a reading experience without too many distractions. While some of the illustrations (particularly of clothing styles that the story directly references) seem dated, especially considering the hardware they're being viewed on, the overall lesson is ever-timely. The issues of peer pressure and bullying are addressed with a light, skillful touch, which is reinforced at the close with the "Do unto others" verse from Matthew. (iPad storybook app. 4-8)Read full book review >
JUST GRANDMA AND ME by Mercer Mayer
CHILDREN'S

Mercer Mayer's Little Critter visits the beach with his grandmother, who, like all of Critter's family, has plenty of patience for his good-natured mischief. When Little Critter—who looks like a hairy hamster—drops hot dogs in the sand, he helpfully washes them off in ocean water, among other mishaps. Mayer's books are typically crammed with peripheral characters, humorous and clever illustrative details and diverting background text (signs, recurring pet characters) to keep parents occupied as they read. The iPad app is no exception. It adds sound effects, first-person narration that captures Little Critter's obliviousness to the mayhem he wreaks and the ability to have words read aloud when objects and characters are tapped. (Unfortunately, some of these are mislabeled; one hopes they will be corrected in future versions, but for the time being, adults should be ready to correct the errors for their children.) There's also an embedded game: At the end of the story, the app tallies up the number of times readers have found and tapped on the spider and grasshopper that hide in each frame. The oft-adapted story—it's been, among other things, an MS-DOS CD-ROM game and a "Living Book" in the years since its original 1983 publication—still holds up. The graphics, page turning and read-along options work well to deliver a harmless, affectionate tale of a kid's day out with his grandmother. (iPad storybook app. 3-7)Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S

Tacky the Penguin wears loud shirts and sings horribly, a contrast to the perfect, preened members of his flock (who've got names like "Neatly" and "Perfect"). But when hunters come seeking pretty penguins, it's Tacky's lack of… well… tact that saves the day. The iPad-app version of the 1990 book doesn't work much to improve upon the hilarious first adventure of the "odd bird," but the developer's trademark less-is-more approach enhances what's there without overdoing things with needless features. Animated snow is ever-present, falling slowly on every page. Background music blends gracefully with sound effects (the penguin singing is particularly well done). And the narration is lively enough to match the sharp text and expressive illustrations. Like many of the apps developed by Oceanhouse Media, every object and word on the page is read out loud when touched, and page flipping is done with simple swipes. As Tacky is prone to do to his penguin friends, the developers deserve a "hearty slap on the back and a loud 'What's happening?' " Charming and oh-so-neatly put together. (iPad storybook app. 3-9)Read full book review >
GREEN EGGS & HAM by Dr. Seuss
Kirkus Star
by Dr. Seuss, illustrated by Dr. Seuss, developed by Oceanhouse Media
CHILDREN'S

Some stories never grow old. Sam-I-am relentlessly pursues a picky eater who won't go near the titular entree, even when garnished with the company of a goat or a ride on a boat. That is, until Sam's new friend tries the dish and decides to eat them anywhere, such as in a car or in a tree: "They are so good, so good, you see!" One of about 20 Dr. Seuss apps, this one seems particularly suited to the format, allowing young readers to touch any object—from sky to trees to green eggs—and have the word spoken and gently float across the screen as text. As pages are flipped, the view zooms out to reveal full-page illustrations, giving the story a consistent sense of motion. The narration (paced ideally for emergent readers) and tap-to-speak words are playfully read and are optional, as are sound effects (such as a mouse's squeak), so those accustomed to a jaunty clip can read it aloud at their preferred tempo. While navigation is wisely kept out of the way outside of the main menu, the only way to restart the book or access any options in Auto Play mode is, regrettably, to quit the app entirely using the iPad's Home button. (iPad storybook app. 2-8)Read full book review >