Children’s Books: Augmented Reality Books from the American Museum of Natural History

The American Museum of Natural History has some really cool educational resources that we discovered recently…

Augmented Reality Books

Currently they only have three titles available:

  • dinosaurs
  • solar system
  • storms


iDinosaur takes you up close and personal with these prehistoric reptiles with the next level of augmented reality experience. The combined book and app will take you into a whole new dimension as your prehistoric favorites leap directly from the page into your world, thanks to stunningly realistic CGI art that is enhanced by the most up-to-date dinosaur research. Download the free app for Apple’s iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch platforms or for Android devices such as the Galaxy Nexus and the Nexus 7 tablet and watch the now-extinct beasts spring to life again in four different awesome AR experiences.

iDinosaur App

This app is designed to work specifically with the iDinosaur book. With it, you can unleash 4 incredible Augmented Reality dinosaurs (and discover more dinosaurs to unlock with an In-App Purchase).

Four Free Dinosaurs:

  • Set a mighty Tyrannosaurus rex free and let it roam around your home!
  • Hatch a baby Brachiosaurus from a dinosaur egg.
  • Go hunting with a pack of vicious Velociraptors.
  • Send a giant Pteranodon soaring through the air.

What you can do:

  • Tap to release each dinosaur from its crate. Move your mobile device around to get a 360-degree view of your dinosaurs. Send your dinosaurs running or flying about with the onscreen joystick control. With just a tap you can make them roar or you can shut them safely back into their crates.
  • Take incredible photos of yourself with your dinosaurs, ready to print or share. You could be feeding a T. Rex or watching a Pteranodon fly around your head!

More dinosaurs to unlock:

  • Mighty Triceratops and it’s deadly horns.
  • Discover the strange horny plates of a Stegosurus as it explores your home.
  • Search the waters for the ocean predator, the Liopleurodon.
  • Watch as a giant Brachiosaurus walks out from the pages of the book!
  • Walk the giant Diplodocus.
  • Look at the fantastic Ankylosaurus right on your desk.
  • Unleash the enormous Gigantosaurus.
  • Run Plateosaurus on you book!

How it works:

To see the dinosaur animations in action, find one of the yellow Augmented Reality boxes in your iDinosaur book. Then launch the app, point your device’s camera at the book while it is open flat on the floor or a table and watch your dinosaurs spring roaring to life!

iSolar System

iSolar System takes you on trip to the Moon and beyond – all the way to the outer planets! With a desktop, tablet, or smartphone as your spaceship, iSolar System brings space exploration to three-dimensional life and gives budding astronauts and astronomers a glimpse into the future. Breathtaking photographs and CGI images capture everything from the early race to the Moon to upcoming developments like the lunar elevator. Plus, virtual animations allow you to watch planets in orbit, send the Curiosity Rover robot trundling around on your desktop, and much more!

The experts at the American Museum of Natural History have provided a wealth of authoritative information and cool pictures that make this volume an incredible experience for starry-eyed kids.

iSolar System App

Designed to work with the iSolar System book, this FREE Augmented Reality app will allow you to see planets, moons and spaceships spring up from the page into 3D life.

Highlights include:

  • Drive the Mars Rover around your floor!
  • See the entire solar system laid out in space, orbiting around our majestic sun
  • Fly a survey plane across the arid surface of Mars
  • Watch a lunar elevator carrying people and cargo along a cable that stretches from Earth to the Moon!
  • Look around a future moon base

What you can do:

  • Move your device around the animation to see an entire 360-degree view, and experiment with pinch, swipe and zoom to focus on different parts of the image. The Mars Rover can be “driven” with touch screen commands to steer it and fire at rocks to sample their chemical content. In the Solar System animation, you can focus in on each planet and change the speed of their rotation using toolbar buttons.
  • You can even take a picture of yourself in the middle of the action – with planets orbiting your head, or the Mars Rover climbing your lap!

How it works:

To activate the AR animations, look for the blue Augmented Reality boxes in the pages of the iSolar System book. When you see the box, launch the app, point your device’s camera at the book spread and watch the planets spring to life!


With iStorm, you can unleash a tsunami or stand in the middle of an earthquake in complete safety! With the wonder of Augmented Reality, you can experience the wildest weather at home without disturbing a chair! Place your tablet or smartphone near the visual trigger on the page and hold it up to see a tornado blow in or a volcano erupt. Or simply explore Earth’s ever-changing surface. From floods and drought to forest fires and avalanches, iStorm shows why extreme natural events occur and their impact on our planet.

iStorm App

Screenshot 2020-02-14 22.19.12

Designed to work with the iStorm book, this FREE Augmented Reality app to bring extreme forces of nature to life from its pages.

Highlights include:

  • Explore the surface of planet Earth to discover where tsunamis and hurricanes occur.
  • Send a tornado spinning on a trail of destruction.
  • Make the ground tremble with a mighty earthquake.
  • See inside a fiery volcano and make it erupt.

What you can do:

  • Experience in your own home the powerful effects of the Earth’s extreme weather and natural forces. Move your mobile device around to get a 360-degree view each dramatic AR sequence as it jumps off the page.
  • Pinch and zoom to discover more detail. Tap to discover more detail about real-life tsunamis and hurricanes. Build a tornado by adding the weather icons in the correct order. Use the slider to view the destruction caused by different magnitude earthquakes. Tap the buttons to make the volcano erupt.
  • Take incredible photos of yourself with this extreme weather and they’ll be saved ready for you to print or share.

How it works:

To see the AR sequences in action, find one of the yellow Augmented Reality boxes in the pages of your iStorm book. Then launch the app, turn the volume up to hear the sound effects and point your device’s camera at the page while it is open flat on the floor or a table and watch as the weather comes to life!


Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of (a website on parenting, education, child development) and (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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