Four Storybook Apps to Add to Your Class Library

Young readers will love the colorful illustrations, whimsical narration, and interactive extras included in these digital tales.

By Noel Woodward

hand with apps

Looking for that perfect story to read to your class? Check out these stories available for your mobile device. They include extra features that you won't necessarily find in traditional books and still contain meaningful messages and charming illustrations.

1. K12 Read Aloud Classics Series

Start your tablet library with the classics! There are two other apps so far in the K12 Classics Series: K12 Classics A, and K12 Classics B. Each app costs from $0.99 to $1.99 and contains at least 19 colorfully-illustrated stories to read and reread. Users have the option to listen to each story read aloud by various narrators, so consider investing in some headphones if you want multiple kids to listen to different stories at the same time. Many of the stories are only one to two pages long and would work great as the final activity of the day. Read some favorite classics, such as Cinderella, The Tortoise and the Hare, and The Ugly Duckling, directly from these apps. The developer also offers lite versions for free.

2. Sir Charlie Stinky Socks and the Really BIG Adventure

A fully immersive and interactive storybook, readers get to follow Sir Charlie as he sets out into the great big world with his cat Envelope. Youngsters can explore each page as they listen to a very theatrical narrator. Each page has an interactive element and audio can be paused, repeated, or stopped altogether. Kids can also select specific words and listen as they are repeated in a silly voice. Have pupils add their own narration by using the recording option. There are a few other extras included, such as coloring pages and songs from the story. Sir Charlie Stinky Socks and the Really BIG Adventure costs $4.99, but is definitely worth the price. Kids will want to read it again and again, stinky socks and all!

3. What Will I Be?

Inspire your class to think about the future. Youngsters choose either Lewis or Maddi to be the star of a story about opportunities. The story is beautifully illustrated and includes fun interactive elements that students will love discovering as they listen to the narration or read on their own. While the story is not very long, there are enough extras and a strong enough message to keep readers interested and coming back for more. Unlock a bonus game by finding and tapping the dog on each page! Considering the fabulous illustrations and the lovely overall message, the $2.99 price tag is definitely reasonable.

4. Extraordinary Jenny Jones

Jenny Jones may look like an ordinary girl, but she sees the world in her own unique way—and that's just fine! Readers get the chance to see the world as Jenny does as they move through the story. Complete with lovely music and whimsical illustrations, Jenny's world transforms before the reader's eyes as he or she taps items, works on puzzles, and plays the mini-games scattered throughout the story. If pupils need help, Chairman Miao, Jenny's cat, is ready to assist with a tap on the tummy. The narration is optional, as are the puzzles. For $2.99, you get a cute story with a positive message, puzzles that change from time to time, several in-story games to play, and more!

With any of these stories, there is an opportunity for discussion and extension. If you don't have a tablet, recommend these apps to parents for at-home use. Kids will benefit from listening to the narration and reading on their own as they interact with the characters and their surroundings.

Want to find out more about these stories before purchasing? Check out Lesson Planet's educational app reviews for detailed descriptions of features, instructional ideas, and pros and cons for each of these applications!