The Kirkwood Public Library has many wonderful tablet apps to help children strengthen early literacy skills. These apps are available in the Children’s Area and on the Early Literacy Ipad Kits (available for check-out). All of the apps are educational and engage children in fun activities. We reviewed, did a little playing ourselves and found this list to be our favorites. Here are our top ten apps.


Animal Train – First Word by 22learn: Children will love the adorable illustrations and realistic sounds! The menu offers two options for your child. The read aloud option makes this app ideal for toddlers just beginning to recognize animal pictures. More advanced readers will enjoy the challenge of reading the names of animals on their own. The Animal Train takes you on an exciting journey through seven learning areas. Take the train through farm, savanna, desert, sea, jungle, polar and yard areas as you match the picture of the animal to the word.

Bob Books #1 Reading Magic by Learning Touch: The classic beginning reader books have been transformed into an interactive learn-to-read app. Very simple, like the books, but with the added bonus of hearing the words pronounced when needed. Four different levels grow with your reader as they advance.

Bugs and Buttons by Little Bit Studio: Bugs and Buttons explores 18 mini-games and activities that make learning fun. Each game is designed to be quickly self-learned and the adaptive play patterns offer kids entertaining challenges without frustration. The graphics are bold and distinct. Each game has an interactive voice that is fun for the child to hear.

Eddy’s Number Party by Scientific Learning Corporation: This fun and educational number identification app will keep children entertained as they learn. Eddy’s friends want to come to his party. Each number activity gets the dogs closer and closer to the party destination. The cartoon dogs and their expressive actions make the app enjoyable for many ages.

Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty ~ 3D Interactive Pop-up Book by StoryToys Entertainment Limited: This eBook app version of the classic fairy tale. This app shows readers a fresh new take on a familiar story. They story is read out loud and the fairy tale comes to life as the child explores a variety of challenges. Princess enthusiasts and story-book readers alike will delight in this fun and explorative eBook app.

Little Writer by Alligator Apps: An app that helps young children correctly form letters, numbers, shapes and words.  The child follows an animal as it eats its way through tracing the form. The app incorporates easy tracing techniques and positive reinforcement.

See. Touch. Learn. by Brain Parade: An invaluable app for parents, educators and therapists to use with children. The app is made to easily help children with special needs to work on learning new concepts and improving communication skills. This version provides 32 flash cards and six lessons on a variety of subjects including shapes, people, food and animals.

Pigeon Presents Mo…On the Go by Disney: Three-time Caldecott honoree Mo Willems invites you to join some of his most beloved characters in this collection of entertaining games and activities to play. “Mo…On the Go!” lets you dance, draw, take pictures, create monsters, and even drive the bus! Children can unlock stickers as they accomplish each activity and add them to the sticker vault.

Pooh’s Birthday Surprise by Disney: An interactive storybook designed to help children acquire and reinforce early literacy and pre-math concepts. Children are invited to join in the birthday party planning with their favorite Hundred-Acre Wood friends. This rich storytelling experience features Winnie the Pooh illustrations and exciting tap-and-play animation on every page. The “young reader” mode gives children clear directions to guide them through the book. More advanced readers can read the pages and explore activities as they proceed at their own pace. The app has everything you love about Pooh and the menu is full of tips on how to get the most from your experience. Extended learning options are listed as well as a clear “how to use” section.

Musical Me by Duck Duck Moose: A music education app for young children. They’ll learn about different instruments, notes, and rhythm- all while being entertained. This creative app has children move a flying mouse to different aspects of musical education. They can play birds to a variety of tunes, make monsters dance, and test their musical memory by copying patterns. This brightly colored and clear sounding app is a unique way to explore music.


Chelsea Bedley is the Assistant Director of Programs and Youth Services for the Kirkwood Public Library. She has been with the library since March 2013. She enjoys historical fiction, drinking too many iced coffees, and is currently obsessed with the Danish concept Hygge. Her favorite authors include Gail Carson Levine, Annie Barrows and Pam Munoz Ryan.