This is iF Poems, a new educational app aimed at children, but with much to offer to grown-ups too.
It brings together 230 classic poems, sorted into age groups and categories such as “Growing up” and “Lessons for life”.
But better still, some of them come with audio readings by none other than British actors Helena Bonham Carter and Bill Nighy – and beautiful readings they are, too.
As well as explaining poetry to youngsters, the app encourages participation. You can record your own reading of a classic poem (and then share it with friends), or write a fresh poem when you feel inspired. Your work is presented just like the famous poems, making you feel like you’re right up there with Edward Lear or Lord Tennyson.
This is a charming app, and an excellent introduction to the world of poetry. Not just for kids, either.
It’s only let down by not being a universal app – rather, there are separate iPhone (three dollars) and iPad (five dollars) versions. Also, some of the text fields (such as the poet biographies at the top of each poem) are scrollable, but that’s not always obvious. With a long bio, the text here feels very cramped.
That’s a minor problem though, and doesn’t detract from the charm. Recommended.