Storybook Maker is an intuitive iPad app that kids will return to over and over again to create books. The app is loaded with features and content and reasonably priced. It is ideal for home or school use.
- Easy to use interface
- High quality design objects
- Ability to add music and audio to books
- Ability to share books
- View books created by others
The interface is easy to use whether creating, editing or sharing books; a tutorial or in-app instructions are unnecessary, neither are included and most users won’t miss them.
A number of books can be stored in your library. Books in your library are those that you create or books downloaded from the public library. We have more than 35 books in our library; some are downloads, most are those that we have created. It is also easy to delete books no longer needed. Books in your library are listed chronologically. Additional sorting options would be helpful, such as an option to list books alphabetically or move them manually as you would on a bookshelf. Renaming a book is simple and can be accomplished from within the book.
The Public Library is an area where you can view books created by others from around the world. You can choose to share your creations with others. According to information in the app, books submitted to the public library are reviewed prior to being made available to the public. Books cannot contain photos of people, private information or inappropriate content. The public library feature is not protected and children have easy access to share or download books if the iPad is connected to a network.
Books can also be shared as a PDF or a multi-media book; both are done through an e-mail. To view the book as a multi-media book the receiver will need to do so using the Storybook Maker app.
After naming the book, you can create pages using a number of templates. You are not locked into the formatting of the template. The app allows you to change design elements as desired. Pages can be moved or deleted easily.
Photos can be inserted from your device library or by using the camera feature. Insert graphics, some of which can be animated, from the large library of categories. A graphics menu allows you to manipulate the objects in a number of ways, such as rotate, size and layer. There are animals, letters, people, food and a wide variety of other categories to choose from. If you would rather draw your own pictures there is a menu dedicated to drawing tools.
You can be just as creative when adding text. It can be inserted as an object, letter by letter, or by typing it in and then using the number of options to format it. No spell check feature is available at this time.
Music/sound clips and audio can also be added page by page. A variety of music and sounds are available to choose from. Recording audio is simple enough that most young users are able to do this on their own.
Oh my, the educational possibilities are endless. The app could be used for all sorts of writing assignments such as book reports, journaling and creative writing. It is an ideal method for encouraging reluctant writers; those who may get writer’s block when given a sheet of paper.
Teachers could use this app to create books for their preschool or kindergarten students to view or “read” when the class is working on their colors or a specific letter, for example.
I plan to use this app with my family to keep those writing skills sharp over the summer. With the flexibility the app allows we can create photo albums, have fun making silly stories together – each of us creating a page, journaling our vacations, adventures, hikes, nature sightings, or even the weather.
We may have to increase our star ratings for apps like Storybook Maker. Within seconds of asking my elementary-age helper to work on this app with me I lost possession of my iPad. They immediately took over with the only guidance being that they not share or download books. Fifteen minutes later they had created this awesome book based on information they had researched for a book report they were working on at school. Their book included almost all of the design elements found in the app; photos, graphics, hand-drawn pictures, different sized and colored text, etc. I could now share their book with their teacher as a PDF, or if our district had Storybook Maker, as a multi-media book. You are probably thinking that my helper then moved on to a game app after completing their book. Nope, they continued to create more books during their “iPad time” instead of choosing to play games. This app has staying power, it has quickly become one of our favorite apps.
Storybook Maker includes everything you need to create and share books, whether creating them for fun or a school assignment. It contains too many features and functions to list. The app is top notch quality and available for a fantastic price.
This app does not include social media links, ads or in-app purchases. It does include a couple of external links to additional apps and feedback. Ideally, both links would be combined on a protected menu for parents.
Other items that need some layer of protection are the book sharing feature and accessing the public library. The protection could be an option on a protected menu for parents or in the device settings.