Marc Saltzman: App Dad


'Dr. Seuss Bookshelf' App: Organize Your Book Collection

New app helps you organize, access Dr. Seuss books and other content

Have kids or grandkids who adore The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham or How The Grinch Stole Christmas? Apple's App Store now has more than 45 different Dr. Seuss books, games and other apps available.

The latest app—Dr. Seuss Bookshelf—is a free download that helps you organize and launch apps tied to the best-selling children's author and illustrator.

While it's difficult to complain about a free app, be aware you really don't get any free content here. It's more of a springboard to paid content, though you can download "Lite" versions of some Dr. Seuss books, giving you a few free pages for some books.

Recently updated for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, Oceanhouse Media's Dr. Seuss Bookshelf looks like a kid-friendly version of Apple's iBooks app. Instead of a boring 'ol wooden bookshelf, however, you get a funky-looking blue and red bookshelf with twisted edges—in true Dr. Seuss fashion.

The top shelf is the store, with icons you can tap to buy books and other apps. Underneath that is a "featured" apps bookshelf, with a fewer number of apps profiled. The third row shows apps you have installed on your iOS device—and yes, you can tap to launch them—while the bottom shelf is reserved for your "favourite" apps (simply drag and drop ones you own down here).

Parents can also sort apps by type (classic books, games, cameras and learning library), price (such as "$3.99 or less" or "0.99-cent" apps) or age (age 3 and under, 3 to 5, 6 to 8 or 9 to 12). Alternatively, you can use the search window to find what you're looking for.

Dr. Seuss Bookshelf works well for what it is, but it would've been great if the developer added some free content as an extra incentive to download and use it. Instead, you only get access to the "Lite" versions of three books—Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat In The Hat and Dr. Seuss's ABC—but who wants to read six pages of a much longer story (or have it read to you, which is also an option)?

There's also a Dr. Seuss Camera—Happy Birthday Edition app for free that lets you create zany birthday cards using your camera or images from your Photo Library.

Still, those who want to manage and launch Dr. Seuss apps, or browse to see what's out there, might consider downloading this cute digital bookshelf.