Book, site and app reviews from the Parent staff

BOOKS FOR KIDS

"TRIXIE TEN" by Sarah Massini

Trixie Ten has nine brothers and sisters and every one of them is noisy. Whether they are sneezing, coughing or hiccupping, Trixie has had enough so she packs up in search of a quieter place. But the world is full of other noisy creatures and when she finally finds a quiet place, she misses her siblings. Colorful fingerprint illustrations help tell this repetitive story that encourages storytelling and counting in preschoolers. FOR AGES 3 TO 7

"GET INTO ART: PEOPLE" by Susie Brooks

One part art history, another part art lesson, Get Into Art pairs information on the lives and techniques of influential artists such as Picasso, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci with art activities for children to try. Artists are profiled along with a project that encourages children to try different art techniques and mediums. FOR AGES 5 TO 12

"FLORA & ULYSSES: THE ILLUMINATED ADVENTURES" by Kate DiCamillo

Flora, who escapes from her home life by reading comic books, saves a squirrel after he is sucked up in a vacuum cleaner. The squirrel, who Flora names Ulysses, has become a super squirrel. He can talk, fly and type poetry. Comic-style illustrations and some larger-than-life vocabulary are sprinkled throughout this delightful story of how Flora helps Ulysses to fulfill his superhero destiny. FOR AGES 9-12

"FANGIRL" by Rainbow Rowell

Cath is a Simon Snow fan and writer of fan-fiction. She and her twin sister, Wren, have been Snow fans since they were kids but Wren has pretty much moved on and as they start college has decided they shouldn't be roommates. Cath is left to find her own way, completely out of her comfort zone without her sister, avoiding her gruff roommate with the overly-friendly boyfriend. Will she be able to do this on her own? FOR TEENS

-Amanda Blackman, Librarian, Northside Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library

WEBSITE

TINKERLAB

The blog of Rachelle Doorley (tinkerlab.com), an art educator, is filled with inspiration for creative experiences for children. Following a theme of open-ended discovery and experimentation, she shares art projects, experiments and more. This site is loaded with ideas, tips, resources, kids' projects and interviews.

-Amanda Blackman

APPS

COLORMANIA - GUESS THE COLORS

This is an excellent time-wasting mechanism. It's a memory game - but with a twist. Pop culture icons will come up on the screen, but they're in black and white, making them difficult to recognize. And you only have a set amount of time to make a guess on which colors go with the character, logo or TV show. Correct guesses bump you up a level, and you have plenty of levels to beat, too. It's a free game, available for the iPhone and iPad, and it's been a top Free App download in the iTunes store for a while now. Don't forget to update the app regularly - new icons will appear and keep the challenges fresh.

GOOD FOOD FESTIVE RECIPES

If you're looking for fresh new recipes to try over the holiday season, this BBC Worldwide app has received some pretty great reviews. It costs $2.99, and you'll get access to more than 100 recipes with photos. Don't worry: They've given you a step-by-step guide to each one, too. They have some vegetarian options, as well as a nice little cooking tips section. It's for the iPad, iPod Touch and the iPhone. Three words for you: Cider. Roast. Turkey.

-Taylor Starek