I read many books to my kiddos when they were young, and I love reading to my granddaughter. If you’re a parent or grandparent, I hope you do, too. However, if there are times when that’s inconvenient, you can have the Apple TV handle the job thanks to iBooks StoryTime.
It’s a free app aimed at the preschooler who is just starting to learn to read. iBooks StoryTime lets you open a virtual book on any HDTV that’s connected to an Apple TV. A narrator reads the stories while virtual pages automatically turn on-screen. Words are highlighted on-screen as they’re read aloud. In some cases there are sound effects. If you start a book, and don’t finish it, StoryTime picks up where you left off the next time you open it.
You can turn off Read-Aloud narration if you want to read the book to your child yourself. You can even use the Siri Remote to swipe between pages.
Children’s books already in your iBooks account will load automatically. You can, of course, buy more (which Apple, naturally, hopes you’ll do).
iBooks StoryTime requires tvOS 10.0.1 or later. It comes with Dora’s Big Buddy Race Read-Along Storybook (not my favorite children’s book), allowing you to test drive the app before buying any e-books.
I do wish you could choose between various narrator voices, but the illustrations on the books I’ve purchased are delightful. And, hey, iBooks Storytime is free. And I’d rather have my granddaughter have a book read to her by the app than just have her watching one TV show after another.
Apple World Today Rating (out of 5 stars): ★★★★