i want a stor’i’

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When you get an iPhone you discover there’s an application (or ‘app’) for everything. My iPhone is without doubt my favourite gadget; I’m currently relying on the ‘Christmas List’ app to plan my Christmas shopping and ‘Couch to 5K’ to keep my walking partner and I motivated for our 6am starts.

My needs aside, iPhone apps are extremely useful distractions for preschoolers. There’s heaps of simple games and flash cards to keep kids occupied, as well as a number of storybook apps.

Developed by FrogDogMedia as an educational alternative to video games, iStoryTime is a library of original, narrated children’s books developed for the iPhone. There are six stories in the collection, aimed at children aged two to seven. Each iStoryTime book is designed to be self-narrating and self-navigating, although you do have the choice of reading the book on your own or choosing between an adult or child narrator.

The favourites among my own children are The Wiener Dog Magnet (although I think it is mostly because the word ‘wiener’ is inexplicably funny to my four-year-old boy) and the jolly rhyming tale, Fred the Fish and the Squash that goes Squish, complete with character voices.

For something more familiar, the Kidztory version of The Little Red Hen is terrific. Narrated by a child and complete with sound effects that can be activated at anytime during the story by touching the pictures, this classic story never fails to please. I particularly like the illustrations in it, and the narrator’s sweet ‘international with a touch of Brit’ accent.

‘The Little Red Hen’ app is $1.19 and the iStoryTime books are $2.49 each. All are available from the iPhone App Store.

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Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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