You can never have too many books – and neither can your iPad. Thanks to the wealth of storybook apps on the iTunes store, you and your child can sit down together to read a story, or have one narrated aloud with word-by-word highlighting to encourage your budding reader.
Many of these apps also include entertaining games and puzzles to supplement the narrative, giving you more bang for the buck in addition to a captivating story.
From stories of adventure with familiar faces to tales featuring new friends, here are 13 fantastic storybook apps for you and your family. (And also check out our roundup of 15 educational apps and 18 great art apps.
The Monster at the End of This Book - If there’s just one storybook to download to your iPad, it’s this one. The digital version of this classic Sesame Street tale is narrated by Grover himself and is certain to give preschoolers the giggles. iPhone/iPad, $4.99
Another Monster at the End of this Book – The sequel co-starring Elmo is just as fun, and includes little games that even a toddler can enjoy. iPhone/iPad, $3.99
Little Red Riding Hood – For a twist on the well-known fairy tale, Nosy Crow’s Little Red Riding Hood storybook takes the reader beyond the standard story to help Red stand up to the Big Bad Wolf. iPhone/iPad, $5.99
The Kissing Hand – This memorable story is a long-time favorite of preschoolers and kindergarteners who might be feeling some trepidation about heading to school. You can even record your own narration to make the story extra special. iPhone/iPad, $3.99
The Berenstain Bears Collection #1 – Chances are you read and loved the Berenstain Bears books as a child, and now you can share their adventures with your kids in this collection of books. This app features six classic Berenstain Bears stories. When the budding reader taps anything on the screen, a word pops up to show the object’s spelling. iPhone/iPad, $10.99
Goodnight Safari – A calming tale well-suited to toddlers, Goodnight Safari is narrated with just the soothing sounds of the savanna accompanying the bedtime story. The story is free, with additional activities available to purchase. iPhone/iPad, Free
Sofia the First: Story Theater – Preschoolers who love watching Disney’s Sofia the First get two excellent activities in this app: the tale of the newly crowned princess Sofia, with narration by the show’s characters, and an endlessly entertaining puppet theater that gives your child the chance to make her own royal story. iPhone/iPad, $3.99
A Charlie Brown Christmas – Recited by the original voice of Charlie Brown and accompanied by the timeless Christmas tale’s music and dialogue, the A Charlie Brown Christmas app is an interactive must-read during the holidays. iPhone/iPad, $4.99
Pete and the Secret of Flying – Long ago, before birds could fly, a small, feathered friend named Pete stared wistfully at the sky. A whimsical story with bright colors, tots and toddlers will love to settle in for some quiet time with Pete. iPhone/iPad, Free
La Luna: The Story Project – Based on the stunning Pixar animated short La Luna, this app includes the storybook and the video of the short itself. As a bonus for kids who are interested in what goes on behind the scenes, there is also a fascinating look at the magic behind the movie. iPad only, $3.99
Lucy Ladybird – A colorful, charming story about a ladybird (or ladybug, if you prefer) who longs to have spots. The accompanying song is sweet, and the app comes with coloring activities as well. iPad only, $5.99
Speakaboos – Rather than just one book or story of derring-do, Speakaboos offers a paid subscription service with over 150 interactive books and songs delivered to your iPad. iPad only, Free (Plus Subscription)
Reading Rainbow – The Reading Rainbow app, based on the beloved children’s TV series, also offers a subscription-based library of picture books for kids up to age 9, as well as new video adventures with host LeVar Burton. iPad only, Free (Plus Subscription)
Kelly Knox is a freelance writer and content editor at GeekMom.com.