New Dr. Seuss apps offer interactive reading experience

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The Independent Culture

On February 12, application developer Oceanhouse Media announced the launch of three iPhone Apps based on Dr. Seuss children's stories. Two interactive books plus a photo application can be used on the iPhone and iPad touch and will also be available for the iPad.

"The Cat in the Hat" and "Dr. Seuss's ABC" are both available as interactive eBooks in the App Store for $3.99 each. The apps include the books' original artwork plus special features such as highlighted picture/word associations, professional narrations, and background audio. "Dr. Seuss Camera - The Cat in the Hat Edition," available for $2.99, allows users to create photo cards using the iPhone's built-in camera or Photo Library.

Oceanhouse Media released three Dr. Seuss apps in December 2009: "Grinchmas!," which got an honorable mention at Macworld 2010 in the 2009 Best App Ever Awards; "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!"; and "Dr. Seuss Camera - The Grinch Edition."

According to Oceanhouse and Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the Dr. Seuss apps are intended not just for entertainment but to improve literacy in elementary schools.

With its varied capabilities and full-color screen, the iPad is expected to inspire other picture-book applications like these. "We believe that the iPad will be a revolutionary device for children's literature and learning," said Michel Kripalani, President of Oceanhouse Media.

Other e-reader platforms that run on computers and smartphones also include features well-suited to children's books; the soon-to-be-released Blio platform, for example, features a full-color display and text-to-speech function.