Monday, January 14, 2013

New App for Kids -- Arthur’s Birthday from Wanderful Interactive Storybooks (Review)

"Wanderful Interactive Storybooks, the award-winning developer of apps for today's digital kids, has introduced the children's classic "Arthur's Birthday" for the new year.  This Marc Brown story, originally published by Living Books, has been updated with new features and is the latest interactive storybook app released by Wanderful.  The "Arthur's Birthday" App is available for $4.99 for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch at the App Store.

WANDERFUL, INC. INTERACTIVE STORYBOOKS / Wanderful Interactive Storybooks, the award-winning developer of apps for today\'s digital kids, has introduced the children\'s classic \"Arthur\'s Birthday\" for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. This Marc Brown story, originally published by Living Books, has been updated with new features for the iOS and comes with both English and Spanish. This is Wanderful\'s second Arthur release. The first, Arthur\'s Teacher Trouble, received the Editor\'s Choice Award from the influential Children\'s Technology Review. Get Arthur\'s Birthday on the App Store: (PRNewsFoto/Wanderful, Inc.)

Arthur's Birthday tells a story of how children sometimes feel they must choose between friends as Arthur and his friend Muffy are each planning their birthday parties for the same day. The story comes to life with interactivity on every page encouraging readers to fully interact with all of the characters and words for hours of story fun.  This imaginative reading experience is full of surprises as Arthur creates a solution that includes all their friends.

iPhone Screenshot 1

The storybook comes in both English and Spanish for one price, and users can toggle between languages dynamically from any page, a powerful feature beyond anything found in other storybooks. The App includes an easy upgrade to unlock the story content in French; and like other Wanderful storybooks, the READ TO ME mode allows children to enjoy the story experience in a more traditional format. A video of Arthur's Birthday in action can be seen at

iPhone Screenshot 2


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• Story is in both English and Spanish - change language from any page
• Unlock French story content with in-app upgrade
• Each page is fully animated and interactive and virtually every item comes to life when tapped
• All words are recorded twice and are fully “active” for extended word play and language learning
• Move between pages with swipe or with scrolling page navigation
• Two story modes: “Read to Me” and the fully interactive “Let Me Play”
• Multiple settings further customize the App for your child’s reading experience
• Parental tips help you get the most out of this Wanderful interactive storybook
• Teacher resources include a 36 page overview of Wanderful interactive storybooks Classroom Activities and a free preview of the Arthur’s Birthday Classroom Activities guide
• The full 61 page Arthur’s Birthday Classroom Activities guide is available as an in-app upgrade

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"We are thrilled to launch Arthur's Birthday as an iOS app," said Wanderful Founder and CEO Mickey W. Mantle, "and children using the new iPad Mini will be particularly pleased with how well the animation and interactivity translate to the smaller format. This is the second Arthur storybook we've launched. It follows Arthur's Teacher Trouble, which earned the Editor's Choice Award from Children's Technology Review."

iPhone Screenshot 5

Wanderful apps are highly intuitive and encourage children to explore each storybook page for all its hidden content. With hundreds of interactive antics, words, sounds and music, the apps provide a richer interactive experience on one page than many other story apps offer in a whole book. 

A premium upgrade is available – $2.99 via In-App Purchase – which includes a 60 page Classroom Activities Guide and the addition of French language content.  For those who don't require the Classroom Activities Guide, the French content can be added for a $1.99 via In-App Purchase. Arthur's Birthday is also being released for the UK market, with all the storybook content recorded in the UK with British accents for all the characters, songs and interactive activities."


My Thoughts:

This is the first time I have downloaded and reviewed a child's app from Wanderful Interactive Storybooks, but will not be my last.  I don't know about your family, but we love Arthur in our house.  I grew having Marc Brown's Arthur books read to me at bedtime, and these were also some of the first books I was able to read by myself.  Then, when I babysat the neighbor's children in 1996, I was excited to see that PBS had created an animated series centered around Arthur.  It is always nice seeing my childhood favorites reinvented and being enjoyed by other generations.  And, now that I have children of my own, Arthur is still popular on PBS.  I love to snuggle up with the girls on the couch and watch this fun animated series about Arthur and his friends.  Savannah loves Arthur, while Arabella is drawn towards D.W.  Who is your child's favorite character?  Well, no matter who like they , this new storybook app has all your Arthur friends together to celebrate Arthur's birthday.   

If you watch Arthur, then you know that Arthur usually finds himself in a predicament.  And, when it comes to celebrating his special day, there is one problem -- it is also Muffy's birthday.  What is Arthur to do?  This cute, interactive story will keep little ones engaged from start to finish.  When they are not listening to the story (which is available in English, Spanish and French versions), they will have a blast tapping away at the scenes, to bring them to life.  Almost everything on the screen is interactive, which just amazes me. 

Like I said in a recent app review post, our house has been hit with that lousy stomach bug going around, and Savannah, especially has been dealing with it for almost a week now.  She has spent the better part of the week laying around on the couch resting.  Even though she was bored, she was too tired to do much.  And, after watching a dozen movies and listening to me read her stories, I knew she was looking for something entertaining to do, that didn't require much energy from her part.  And, this is with this new app from Wanderful Interactive Storybooks came in.  I surprised her with this on Friday morning and she has spent the better part of weekend playing with the app.  When she was showing me how the scenes came to life by tapping certain items, she was showing this fun, interactive feature to her little sister and father.  The story itself is fun, but her favorite part was discovering the interactive surprises on each page.  She seemed to perk up a bit while enjoying this app, and even giggled, which was great to see after the week she has had. And, I know come Monday when she gets up, that she will be looking for her iPad to play with her now favorite app -- Arthur's Birthday from Wanderful Storybooks. 

Wondering how the story turns out?  Will Arthur's friends go to his house for his birthday party, or will they choose Muffy's party and leave Arthur to celebrate his special day by himself?  Well, I am not going to ruin the story for you.  You will just have to purchase and download this app to find out for yourself. :-) Good luck in finding all the hidden surprise confetti on each page. Savannah and her Daddy spent Sunday afternoon trying to find all the hidden surprises on each page, and had a blast in doing so, while spending quality time together.  

About Wanderful:

Originally introduced in 1992 by Broderbund Software, Living Books were the industry's first highly interactive storybooks and embraced by educators, praised by parents and cherished by children.  Twenty years later Mickey W. Mantle, the former Broderbund CTO who oversaw the technology development for the original interactive storybooks founded Wanderful and assembled key members of the original team, including Living Books creator Mark Schlichting, to re-invent the wildly popular interactive storybooks.  The team has built an entirely new multi-platform engine to drive the story experience on the latest tablets, phones and computers, resulting in interactive storybook apps designed for today's generation of digital kids.  Visit for more information or search "Wanderful storybooks" on the App Store. 

Disclosure: I was sent a promo code from the vendor in order to download and try out this app with my children.  The views above are mine and mine alone.

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