When it comes to your kids and the iPad, it’s easy to overlook the value of interactive storybooks – not apps, but real iBooks that allow for kiddos to engage and learn.  In over three years of writing reviews for this site, I’ve never once received a review request for an iBook.  Until now.

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Matt Doyle is an indie author in Australia who contacted me last week to see if I was interested in reviewing his new space-themed iBook designed specifically for older school-aged kids.  Of course I jumped at the opportunity for several reasons, including the fact that my 7-year-old is currently obSESSED with all things extraterrestrial.

Space: A Brightpips Guide is different from the interactive storybooks I’ve played in app format.  It’s a traditional iBook download, which makes it perfect for more advanced learners at a 2nd grade level and above.   The pictures are amazing and real photography, not ‘baby-ish cartoons’ that my son had apparently expected.  You can read more about the iBook on the Brightpips website.

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When we clicked on different planets and features, fun facts and even more visuals popped up.  We learned about how long a day is on Mars, and what the core of the Earth does.  The writing was decidedly intermediate, but my rising 1st-grader had no problem reading and comprehending.

The download is $5.99 in iTunes, and a comparable ‘real’ book with the same quality could easily cost at least triple that in a book store.  It’s also such a refreshing change of pace from the often-frenetic energy of educational storybook apps.


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