When it comes to story time, parents often have two choices: physical books or ebooks. Bookful splits the difference—using spiffy augmented reality technology.
Point your iPhone at the nearest flat surface and Bookful will make it look like a real book is sitting right there, waiting to be flipped through by little fingers.
To start, open the app to what looks like a map of a theme park and tap at the castle in the center. That’s the library, where you and your kids will find everything from Beatrix Potter classics like The Tale of Peter Rabbit to the massive illustrated DK Children’s Encyclopedia and titles from the Step Into Reading series like Dinosaur Days and S-S-Snakes! A narrator will handle the storytelling, if you so choose.
And there’s more going on in the land of Bookful. Tap Spell It to have your kids brush up on their ABCs. For more traditional videogame fun, play mini-golf or Sling Shot, both of which will teach your kids science and physics before they even notice.
Bookful is free to download, and a handful of titles are free to try. Finishing most books and unlocking other content requires in-app purchases, but don’t worry: Bookful asks for a code before it charges your account, so your kids can’t buy without your approval.