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WHERE DO BALLOONS GO? by Jamie Lee Curtis

WHERE DO BALLOONS GO?

An Uplifting Mystery

by Jamie Lee Curtis, illustrated by Laura Cornell, developed by Auryn Inc.

Age Range: 4 - 9

Pub Date: July 12th, 2012
Publisher: Auryn

Based on the traditional book of the same name, this interactive storybook takes balloon travel to all-new heights.

All children are captivated by balloons, but when their brightly colored orbs accidentally escape (as they almost always do), the first of many questions is: Where do balloons go? This delightful, action-packed app engages pre-readers and young readers alike with 17 pages of possibilities. The "uplifting mystery" is well-narrated by Curtis and features easy-to-navigate voice-over, music, hint and bookmark options. Eyebrow-raising sound effects support the story beautifully. Especially clever are the haunting sounds at the Bates Motel and the Muzak in the doctor's-office waiting room. From there, the stratospheric level of interactivity transforms the verse into soaring, imaginative exploration. Children can record their own voices and play them back as if helium-distorted for lots of belly laughs; by dragging their fingers across the page, they can create their own constellations; dragging a fan across pages throughout the book whips up a digital breeze. In the Balloon Theater, a separate "play area," children can create their own characters, record dialogue and act out scenes. Auryn does a characteristically excellent job of creating interactions that both support and extend the source material, but Cornell's busy, ink-and-wash illustrations don't always translate optimally to the tablet environment.

Overall, the fanciful result is a storybook app with a far longer shelf life than most. (iPad storybook app. 4-9)