WORLD BOOK - This Day in History for iPad

App review by
Liz Panarelli, Common Sense Media
WORLD BOOK - This Day in History for iPad App Poster Image
Free app offers historical events, with pics, for each day!

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about historical events that occurred on any day of the year. Events include lots of historical figure's birthdays. Each event includes links to more information, either about the person, the event, or related people, places, or things. Not a lot of information is included in World Book - This Day in History, but it could be enough to get kids interested in further exploring history.

Ease of Play

This app serves its simple functions well. Instructions are neither included nor required. For each day of the year, there's a list of three to 12 events that occurred on "this day in history." Each item includes a photo and a link to a paragraph description; some descriptions include audio. Users can swipe to see the next or previous days, use a calendar to choose a day, or use the "today" button to return to the current day.


Several topics refer to wars, battles, and generals. Executions of royalty and assassinations are also mentioned.


Clicking an item to see the long description brings up a window that includes a link to buy books on that topic from Amazon.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Constitutional amendments prohibiting alcohol and repealing prohibition are mentioned.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that World Book - This Day in History for iPad is a simple, straightforward app that lists approximately five historical events that occurred on each day of the year, drawn from the World Book encyclopedia. Users can navigate among days by swiping or using a calendar. Some events such as wars and executions are included, but the tone is historical, not sensationalist. Links to purchase books about the topics on Amazon are abundant.

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What's it about?

The calendar opens to the current date, showing several events from that date in history, with a picture accompanying each. Clicking links within an event's description gives a brief encyclopedia entry on the topic, plus links to books related to the topic. Kids can easily scroll through the calendar to find other dates, and then return to the current date by clicking a button at the top of the page. Events have an icon next to them representing a category -- a molecule for scientists, a quill and ink for authors, and guns for military events, for example -- but categories aren't explained. Icons and images aren't clickable.

Is it any good?

World Book - This Day in History for iPad is a simple, but solid, app, all the better for being free. The descriptions are encyclopedic -- short enough to be accessible, but with thoughtful nuance and detail. Kids will enjoy seeing what happened around the world on a particular date -- such as their birthdays! The historical events included are from a pretty broad range of topics and countries. The focus is on the United States, but kids are exposed to many different cultures. The photos and occasional audio give the events a little pizzazz. It would be great to be able to search or browse events by category, rather than just looking up days, but that might take away the fun of seeing what tomorrow brings!

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Check the calendar at a certain time each day -- during breakfast or after school snack-time, for example -- to read together about historical events.

  • Visit a library and explore the biography section to browse some hard-copy encyclopedias to learn more about history.

App details

  • Device: iPad
  • Subjects: Social Studies: events, historical figures, history
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: collecting data, investigation
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: January 8, 2011
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 19.10 MB
  • Publisher: Software MacKiev
  • Version: 3.0.3
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 3.2 or later
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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