Media Reviews: Apps, Websites and Video Games

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent


"Press Here" by Herve Tullet

This book is not to be merely held in your hands while being read. This book requires you, or preferably your child, to press buttons, rotate the book, shake it furiously, and to be amazed at the magic that happens with every page turn. It all starts out with one simple task: "press here." FOR AGES 2 TO 6.

"Because" by Richard Torrey

If you believe "because" is not a real answer, then your child needs to have a seat with you and read this book. Undoubtedly your child will understand why "because" is a viable answer for every situation presented in this enjoyable title, and you will undoubtedly remember why it was your go-to answer when you were younger. Go pick it up for a good short read with the family, because. FOR AGES 3 TO 6.

"Hooray for Amanda & Her Alligator" by Mo Willems

If you know Mo Willems, then you know that his books are always loud, fun, cute and creative. If you don't know Mo Willems, then "Hooray for Amanda & Her Alligator" is the perfect place to begin. This picture book is divided into small chapter-like sections that show the fun and trouble that Amanda and Alligator fall into throughout the day. Grab this book and your child, or a group of children, and enjoy the fun! FOR AGES 3 TO 8.

"Batman: The Fog of Fear" by Martin Powell

Do you have a young superhero-loving child who is not satisfied with all those "other" books? You are in luck! "Batman: The Fog of Fear" is but one of many titles that have recently hit the shelves. This book, like the other DC Super Hero Books, is a first chapter book that is laced with fun pictures, fast-paced stories and what your child loves to read about the most - superheroes. FOR AGES 7 TO 11.

"The Search for WondLa" by Tony Diterlizzi

Offering a feeling reminiscent of the Oz books, "The Search for WondLa" offers an amazing mixture of outstanding writing and amazing illustrations (this is not a graphic novel). Eva Nine is a young girl that has lived her entire life with Muthr, a robot designed to see to her needs and raise Eva. She has never met another living person, seen the sun, or even left her underground dwelling, so when a roaming huntsman suddenly destroys her home she is sent plummeting into a world she knows very little about. Her only hope lies in a picture of a young girl and the word "WondLa." FOR AGES 8 TO 12

"The Ascension: A Super Human Clash" by Michael Carroll

"The Ascension" begins with the heroes defeating the supervillain, Krodin. They survived, the world is safe, and they can return to their "normal" hero lives. However, several weeks later, the country is put under martial law. Will the heroes continue to follow the laws laid before them, or will they become the new threat? Through this situation of how the world reacts to "perceived" threats and the amazing characters that Michael Carroll creates, "The Ascension" isn't merely a book that superhero enthusiasts will love, but that anyone could enjoy. Intrigued?

- Dustin Jolivette, Homework Help Center Coordinator, South High branch, Columbus Metropolitan Library


Do you have, or are you, a high school student preparing to enter your senior year? If so, then "college" may very well be something that is on your mind. CollegeBound Network is an amazing online resource that allows soon-to-be high school graduates to explore nearly every question they may have regarding college from "Where to go?" to "What do I do when I get there?" If you have questions about college, then this website is a great resource for you and your high-schooler.

-Dustin Jolivette



Looking for a way to beat the late summer heat? In Snow Ball Run (99 cents) your child takes on the role of a cute yeti (with a runny nose, no less) who must outrun a huge snowball. The goal is to build your score by lasting as long as you can, all the while avoiding rocks, yaks, birds and trees. There are also "power-ups" such as ice cream cones and health kits that can be a boost for your character or which assist the snowball in growing larger if you don't pick them up first. When the snowball engulfs the yeti and it will it's time for the game to begin anew. This game has only one level, but the longer you keep going, the harder this game gets.


It's never too early to get your children in the habit of reading a daily newspaper, like our sister publication, "The Columbus Dispatch." Young children can enjoy the comics and the full color pictures. The older children can start learning about the world around them from stories in the news or sports or life sections. "The Columbus Dispatch" iPad app is a newspaper replica for the iPad tablet. Kids can read the paper page-by-page or story-by-story. They can also search by topic of interest to pull up stories that way. Pinching motion will cause a page to zoom in and out. If your family already has a subscription to "The Columbus Dispatch," the newspaper on the iPad is free. If not, you can subscribe directly to the iPad edition for less than a dollar a day.

-Phil Pikelny


"NHL 12" (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, $60, Rated E for Everyone)

The hockey season is kicking off on the consoles again this year with updated rosters, a full impact physics engine and a completely reworked "Be a Pro" career mode.

"HARVEST MOON: TALE OF TWO TOWNS" (Nintendo DS & 3DS, $30, Rated E for Everyone)

The long-running farm simulation RPG makes a return to Nintendo's handhelds this year. Along with a standard DS version the game now comes with a 3D version.

-Shawn Sines