HOMER Stories: Kids Library

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
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Solid collection could use less distraction, more features.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn to appreciate stories and nurture a love of reading and learning. Kids can use read-to-me feature or read to themselves. Books often have positive messages.

Ease of Play

Tap around to open and read books. Choose quickly whether you want to read on your own or be read to.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Free download needs a subscription for access.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Homer Stories: Kids Library is a subscription-based collection of books and videos. One subscription grants access to the library and a companion app, Homer Reading: Learn to Read. The library contains a mix of well-known series like Thomas the Train, classic fairy tales and nursery rhymes, published children's books, songs, and original content. Some books are animated, some have read-to-me or read-on-my-own functions, and some have simple interactive elements. Parents must provide their year of birth and an email address to sign up. The subscription starts with a 30-day free trial, after which parents pay $7.99/month. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

After parents sign up with their year of birth, and email address, and consent to purchase the subscription, kids can enter HOMER STORIES: KIDS LIBRARY. Browse the library by interest topic: dinosaurs, vehicles, princesses, music, robots, animals, and so on, then tap on the scroll through images to choose something that looks interesting. Digital books come in a variety of formats: fully animated videos with sound, lightly animated picture stories, interactive activities, songs, or read-to-me/read-on-my-own options. All books feature read-along, highlighted text.

Is it any good?

This collection offers a wide variety of theme and style but focuses more on action and animation than on reading. With fun, interest-based themes kids should easily find something that excites them and engages their imaginations. There are even non-fiction choices for kids to learn about important historical figures or ocean life. Though the original content is of variable quality, there are great kids' literature classics like Where the Wild Things Are and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom alongside newer popular publications like Angelina Ballerina. However, they're presented as animated and narrated videos rather than simple digital versions of the static hold-in-your-hand book. Though they're certainly fun to watch -- Chicka Chicka Boom Boom as a song is a real treat -- the animations detract from actual reading. There's also no way to know what kind of book you're going to get when you tap into it. Is it a video? Will it have a read on my own option? And, kids can't save favorites or mark books they've read. Homer Stories: Kids Library has some gems, but doesn't yet live up to the stellar quality of Homer Reading: Learn to Read.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the themes in Homer Stories: Kids Library. Get to know more about who your kids are. Do they love dinosaurs, monsters, animals, or sports? Why? Help them explore their interests through books, outings, or activities.

  • Help your kids read along with the highlighted text. Point out the words as you hear them and encourage them to say the words out loud.

  • Is it different to read a book you hold in your hand versus one you see on a screen? Why and how so? Do you like one format better than the other? Why?

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love reading and preschool apps

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