Let’s face it, if we’re going to sit our kids in front of the iPad just to get a little R&R, then we should let them watch something that’s engaging and worthwhile. A lot of book apps turn out to be complete duds when it comes to their level of interaction (and after you’ve already paid for them too!). To save you the headache, we’ve dusted the shelf (errr…iPad) off and compiled this list of 15 kid-friendly iPad books just for kids. Whether you’re reading them a bedtime story or just curling up and reading together, both you and your little ones will bond over this collection of new stories and great classics. These apps are so great, we’re sure your kid won’t be the only one who will have fun reading!

1. What Does My Teddy Bear Do All Day?
This is the top iPad book story app for kids (2011 Appy Awards). Like a gentle mystery, this app will have your kiddo searching for Teddy everywhere. Based on the best selling print book, this app includes interactive elements through all 14 pages, animated characters and even a drawing tablet (if we only could draw like that!). $4.99

2. Food Fight!
We love the witty storyline of Tim, a boy from earth, and Sammy, a sausage, who must come together to deal with conflicts of food intolerance, prejudice and biased perspectives. This charming story has interactive features and even mini hidden mini games! $3.99

3. Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed
Once Mama is gone, these five little monkeys start trouble, and how much trouble is too much? This bedtime story can be read at your own pace: on auto-play or with activated highlights. It’s not super animated to distract kids’ attention, but it’s a good way to tease your little one into going to bed. $2.99

4. The Little Mermaid
You’ll still go under the sea with this version of The Little Mermaid. Sounds of the tide, water ripples, and sea creatures will help you navigate from page to page. We know the ending isn’t so happy compared to Disney, but it’s still a heroic tale about love and sacrifice (plus it isn’t a 2011 Parent’s Choice Awards winner for nothing!). $3.99

5. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
Based on the award winning short film comes the app version: This story will inspire kids to love their books and read more. Plus you’ll be able to see the short film! Of course, it’s interactive with drawings, games and more, but this story is guaranteed with a plot that will make you and your kiddos laugh, sigh and maybe even shed a tear. $4.99

6. Don’t Let Pigeons Run this App!
Create your own story! Be the writer as this app lets you record your voice and personalize chapters. The Bus Driver will ask your little ones for ideas, and then you shake the Pigeon to let the story come to life. Your kiddo will get to draw the pigeon too, which is tons of fun. $6.99

7. Toy Story
We’re ready to accept this story as a classic. Join Woody and Buzz on their first adventure as they learn about friendship. This multimedia book includes narration from the toys, sing-along songs games, finger painting and…so much more! Best of all, this is completely free!

8. Sir Charlie Stinky Socks and the Really BIG Adventure
Sir Charlie Stinky Socks invites us on an adventure through auto-play, custom narration, and special animations. Brave yourself through the deep dark forest, dragons and witches to find the surprise ultimate match in store for Sir Charlie! $4.99

9. Fierce Grey Mouse
We’re a big fan of the magazine cuttings (don’t worry, there’s a standard font as well) and adorable illustrations for this book. Multiple narration options, playful animations, coloring pages and memory matching games, we’re out of space (and breath) to think what else this delightful book can carry. Discover what happens when Little Grey Mouse decides to become Fierce! $2.99

10. The Heart and the Bottle
This special one is about a girl who puts her heart in a safe place. Narrated by Helena Bonham Carter, The Heart and the Bottle is a sweet story that allows you to grow flowers, cause a flurry of snow and other great interactions. $4.99

The following apps are the classics that you definitely loved and read as a kid. Now there’s a chance to share them with yours in a modern real-life twist that will either make you envious or break out the real pages. For the times you can’t trust your little ones with paper just yet (or if they can’t read), these app-friendly versions are definitely the way to go. Besides, they come with tons of fun that we never got to experience!

11. PopOut! The Tale of Peter Rabbit
This ever popular book is just as popular on the iPad. The Tale of Peter Rabbit is a story every kid must grow up with. Touch and drag berries, read along highlighted text and watch object pop out in this deluxe version of the tale we all love. $4.99

12. The Berenstain Bears’ Bed Time Battle
How could we ever forget the Berenstain Bears? This time there’s a great battle at stake when it’s time to sleep. With picture/word association, page pan and zooms, we’re sure your kids are going to enjoy the challenges Mama and Papa Bear go through. Just don’t blame us for any of their naughty ideas! There’s also a bunch of other books from this series, check more out on the website here. $3.99

13. Harold and the Purple Crayon
Oh, we’ve always envied Harold’s purple crayon! Follow Harold and his limitless imagination as he goes on adventures building cities, making friends, and everything in between. This simple app is great for children who want to read along, and parents who want their little ones to learn some vocab. There’s a LITE version is actually free, while the book is at the steeper end of $6.99.



14. The Cat in the Hat
Dr. Seuss already has so much personality, and now we’re getting it in full throttle! With three different kinds of narrations, picture and word association, we’re sure your kiddo is going to have a blast learning how to read. We’re a little jealous of their version of the book, so we won’t blame you if you keep reading while they’re sleeping. $3.99 The LITE version is free, and be sure to check out other books by Dr. Seuss.

15. The Velveteen Rabbit
Or How Toys Become Real is one of the most touching stories to ever become apart of our childhood. It’s time to introduce it to your kiddos too as they hear it narrated by Meryl Streep (you may have to educate your kiddos on this one)! Let them hug their favorite toy as the illustrations come to life. $4.99

Did we miss an A-list book that you’ve read with your kids? Share your favorites with us in the comments below!

— Christal Yuen

Photo courtesy of Scott & Elaine van der Chijs via flickr.