This engaging story about a goofy witch and her wise pet bat contains the right blend of disgusting magic and silliness. And the story ends with a charming twist that requires your child to use the iPad's microphone to name the witch. Then, with an impressive use of technology, the app magically turns your child's voice into the varied voices of the characters in the book, all saying the name your child created for the witch. This is a magical romp, full of witchy fun.
A Monster Ate My Homework
From Geek Beach, best for ages 7-up, $.99 for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, Free on Android.
Rating: 4 stars
In this 3D puzzler, kids throw balls at block structures in hope of knocking off homework-stealing monsters. The monsters, who look like animated blocks, have purloined three piles of your homework (groups of books). They guard it as it sits on top of a cardboard box, floating in the middle of a pond. The monsters have made formations around and among your three homework piles. The only way to get your homework back is to strategically throw balls at the monsters to knock them off the box, while being careful to not knock off your homework.
This app creates projectile pandemonium as kids throw unlimited balls at the monsters. The monsters get harder and harder to knock off the box as their numbers increase.They hide in precarious ways, they change the environment and they reveal tricks that hinder your success, including bomb monsters who explode when hit.
This is an "earn-three-stars" type puzzle, where the goal is to win 3 stars for not losing any of your homework into the water. You can unlock the next puzzle with just one star, and restart any puzzle as many times as you want. You start with the easy puzzles in "First Grade," progress to "Second Grade," and then unlock additional sets.
Part of the charm is the monsters' cheeky attitude. As you rotate the box around in 360 degrees, the monsters' eyes morph to the side facing you. And they frequently taunt you by sticking out their tongues and growling. It's hilarious monster fun.
Gudmundsen is the editor of Computing With Kids magazine (www.ComputingwithKids.com). Contact her at email@example.com.