Viva Book-An Interactive App Giveaway

by Guest Contributor

We read at our house — a lot. Most of it for the kids is reading done for school. In fact we have to use one of those reading programs where we need to track minutes to earn rewards beyond the required 15-20 minutes every day. In other words, its required reading and not “just for fun” reading that happens a lot. When they wake up in the morning, the first thing they do is grab a book to read. That said, I know we’re in the minority, and getting kids to enjoy reading is beyond critical. It’s something that I strive to keep fun for them.

I read a lot, too, and I’ve started to read more and more books on my iPad via my local library’s checkout program. The wee ones have seen me doing this, and they’ll ask to read books on my iPad, too. I don’t let them often, simply because I – ahem – need my iPad.

I recently had a chance to download two interactive books from VivaBook (you’re going to get a chance too because we are having a giveaway!). These are more than just a book! The wee ones were thrilled.  We downloaded Around the World with Lilup and Nickelby Swift: Kitten Catastrophe. There are other interactive apps available, including Lewis Carroll’s Jaberwocky (which Mister Man repeatedly asked me to purchase). They are also releasing additional titles shortly such as When Rabbit and Fox Were Friends, Robin Hood, and the Velveteen Rabbit and more.

 Around the World with Lilup

Around the World with Lilup seems to be aimed more at the preschool age, as it is a very simple story about a dog who flies around the world, meeting new friends and interacting with them. Lilup flies behind an owl and more. The neatest part of the app is that your child gets to make all the interactions happen. Each page has a different set of possible activities like sliding polar bears across the ice on the screen to tilting the screen so that Lilup flies higher or lower. I gave the wee ones no instructions when I handed over the iPad, and they were able to figure it out themselves, something that to me is key when you design apps for children.

 Nickelby Swift

Personally, I enjoyed Nickelby Swift more, as it was a sillier story with an actual plot to it — more so than Lilup. That said, the interactions were more entertaining in my mind, as well. You can zap the doctor and have him electrocuted as he works with an invention or swing the arms of the Clean-O-Matic, although my favorite was the potato peeling machine. The most impressive part in my eyes? The potato peeler actually decreased the visible potato in the machine in proportion to what was peeled. Once it had peeled the whole potato, there was no potato left. That detail in the animation I thought was pretty cool. And the wee ones do, too.

The apps come with three ways to read them. You can read to yourself (perfect for those who are more advanced readers or when you need quiet), the book can read to you, or you can record the book and have it read in your voice. As you record, you drag your finger over each word as you say it, so that when the book is read to you – either prerecorded or in your voice – the word that is being spoken moves and changes color, which is a great way to help kids improve their literacy, don’t you think? I can just see recording this for a child before a trip so that the child can listen to your voice whenever he wants.

I will say that I was concerned that the wee ones would read the books once and be done with them. They aren’t. In fact, we had a playdate where the wee ones insisted on showing their friends the oh-so-cool book they could read on my iPad. And this morning again, Mister Man asked if he could read Nickelby Swift after he finished working on his book report.

These apps can be purchased from Itunes for $3.99 each. Want to learn more? Watch this video about Viva Book.

 Enter to win

One winner will receive their very own copy of both of these apps to enjoy with your wee ones! To enter the giveaway, tell us what you think about interactive book apps like Viva Book.

This giveaway will end on January 31st and a winner will be chosen and announced on the following Sunday in the Around the Blogosphere post.

In the interest of full disclosure, I received codes to download Nickelby Swift and Around the World with Lilup to my iPad for review purposes. All opinions remain my own.


Michelle just finished yet another book on her iPad, so she doesn’t have an excuse to keep the wee ones from borrowing it to read their books right now. Instead, she’ll be posting on her blog Honest & Truly! or maybe just hanging out on Twitter where you can find her as @honestandtruly.


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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 June January 17, 2012 at 4:35 pm

This is so neat, would love to win!


2 Milcah January 17, 2012 at 6:42 pm

Having books be interactive is one of the coolest things to happen to books. It just makes them more fun and makes even me want to spend a little more time with them.


3 Christina Gould January 17, 2012 at 7:03 pm

I think interactive apps like Viva Books are great for sharpening children’s minds. Thanks for the giveaway!


4 Kelly January 17, 2012 at 10:26 pm

I’ll be buying the app if I don’t win :) I try every day to pass on my love of reading to my boys. My youngest loves to look through his books but my oldest has no interest. I know this will help increase his interest. Wish I would have heard about it sooner. Thanks!


5 Dominique January 17, 2012 at 10:55 pm

I feel that these apps are great and a good way to help young readers be more interested in books.


6 rachel0 January 18, 2012 at 3:42 pm

i think it’s great app for keeping kids not just occupied but engaged!


7 Ticia January 18, 2012 at 10:01 pm

I’ve been finding them great to keep my daughter entertained as we sit at my son’s kung fu lessons.


8 Don January 20, 2012 at 5:51 am

I believe many kids would be happy to use this.


9 Shannon Baas January 22, 2012 at 1:47 pm

I think they are great.


10 Garrett January 23, 2012 at 7:04 am

Wow, neat app, the kids will like this one!


11 susan varney January 24, 2012 at 1:56 pm

i love it my grandson would really enjoy it


12 Van January 24, 2012 at 9:29 pm

This is really different.


13 Melanie C January 24, 2012 at 10:40 pm

Honestly i think that interactive book apps are great, and i’d love to see many more of those types of apps for the ipads


14 Daily Woman January 26, 2012 at 1:57 pm

We love interactive books, my son just got a Jack and the Beanstalk interactive book app and he sits and plays with it alot. I would love to have different books for him.


15 Chuck January 26, 2012 at 2:01 pm

So neat looking, kid’s will like this one!


16 Kristi P January 26, 2012 at 3:39 pm

I love interactive apps. We are always looking for good apps for my daughter to play with.


17 Angela E. January 26, 2012 at 3:45 pm

What a great book to share with the children.


18 rob riffe January 26, 2012 at 8:41 pm

brings me back to the old “choose your own adventure” books. love the idea!


19 julie January 27, 2012 at 11:28 am

My son has been having a difficult time learning to read……we have been using apps every night and I find it has been the only thing that has been keeping his interest. This would be great to have.


20 Marianna January 28, 2012 at 9:09 pm

I think they look great but are a little “young” for my kids and I wouldn’t pay for them when there are so many other great free apps out there


21 Michaela R January 30, 2012 at 9:18 pm

I think they are great to make it fun for young kids to learn about a different variety of things, versus reading it on a book. Which should be just as fun, at least it was for me, but generations have changed!


22 Jill L January 31, 2012 at 7:04 am

I think it’s a great tool for helping kids get excited about reading.


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