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Daily iPad App: Monster Coloring Book

Monster Coloring Book is so adorable that I had a hard time putting it down long enough to write a review. It's an iPad coloring book that has a series of monsters you can "color" using your finger as a brush or tapping to fill an area. If you find that the iMarker/Crayola ColorStudio HD combo is a bit too costly, this is Monster Coloring Book is a much cheaper alternative without the stylus.

There's quite a few options that can be chosen including different colors, brushes, stickers and patterns. You can change the size on the brushes to make sure you keep inside the lines. You can share your creation in a gallery on the app, email, print or export it. You can listen to music while you or your child (come on, we know you'll use this too) color, including some classical tracks to introduce new composers.

The free app comes with one brush and the option to purchase more with an in-game currency called Monsterbucks. You start off with 1,000 Monsterbucks in the free game, so you can add on a couple of brushes or purchase an extra monster or two before you're prompted to buy more. Also, performing some activities will net you a few extra Monsterbucks. All of the starter monsters are free, so there's plenty to experiment with before deciding if you want to purchase more. There are 150 pages in all that can be acquired.

There are a couple of caveats. When you try to purchase Monsterbucks in the app, it doesn't let you know how many real-life dollars the purchase is. As seen from the fiasco over the Smurfs Village app, this could potentially cause a problem. However, if you want full access to all the features without dealing with the in-game currency, get $1.99 paid app. All of the app content is unlocked, so it's much cheaper than purchasing in-game currency.

The tools work well, except I have a difficult time rotating some of the stickers using the 2-finger rotating gesture. A cheat sheet pops up when you use stickers so it's easy for new users to figure out how to reshape and rotate them.

Monster Coloring Book is definitely an app to have on your iPad for kids of all ages -- and the adults who still have the desire to try to color inside the lines.

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