To many cooks can spoil the broth, but collaboration pays off with Dragon Brush. Developer Small Planet (creators of Don’t Let the Pigeon Run this App!) worked with artists John Solimine and Andy Hullinger, and recruited members of the critically acclaimed band The National to soundtrack this delightful, universal storybook app for iOS.
Dragon Brush is a feel-good story which, while it is imbued with optimism, never devolves into schlock. The app uses interactivity sparingly, creating hot spots with care, so it is always immerses and never distracts the reader.
Based on a Chinese folk-tale, Dragon Brush is the story of a poor, but adorable bunny named Bing-Wen. Despite Bing-Wen’s lack of wealth, he never loses hope. After performing a good deed he earns a magic paint brush whose special powers earn him unwelcome attention from the avaricious emperor.
Will Bing-Wen be able to use his magic brush and his wit to outsmart the emperor? You’ll have to read Dragon Brush to find out. (Hint: the story is a fable, but it’s not a tragedy.)
Not only will kids enjoy listening to Bing-Wen’s story, but they also get to bring his drawings to life with a fingertip as well as create their own drawings with Dragon Paint and seek out special ink pots in the story and add them to Dragon Paint.
Download Dragon Brush from the App Store for $2.99. It’s universal, so enjoy it on your iPad (of course) or your iPhone or iPod touch.
What I liked: The story has a moral, but is isn’t the app’s raison d’être.
What I didn’t like: I liked everything about Dragon Brush.
To buy or not to buy: Dragon Brush deserves a spot on every family’s digital book shelf. This colorful app will be read and re-read by parents and children alike. Gift Dragon Brush to your favorite young hipster-in-training. The book’s well-designed GUI and indie rock soundtrack mean you’ll never have to buy another ironic onesie from WryBaby or Threadless Kids T-shirt again.
- App Name: Dragon Brush
- Version Reviewed: 1.0
- Category: Books
- Developer: Small Digital Planet
- Price: $2.99