A true gift for kids!
Parents looking for smarter and more meaningful story apps that their children can benefit from need look no farther. From the popular children’s book illustrator, Klaus Baumgart, comes a unique and engaging story based on the bestselling “Laura’s Star” series of books.
Laura’s Journey to the Stars is an app that has skillfully taken the story of Laura, a young girl who has befriended a falling star that lovingly watches over her, as she sets out on a journey to the stars to determine if her younger brother’s toy dog also has a star that looks over him.
The app brings Laura’s story to life with over 80 animated scenes that tell the tale of her travels and adventures. Each page lifts from the screen and stimulates the child’s imagination with illustrations that are serene, enhanced with clever sound effects. The story pulls the reader into the adventure with engaging mini-games that reveal cardinal directions.
Pages are turned by tapping on the arrows that sit at the bottom right and left corners, while particular pages can be selected by tapping on the central icon at the bottom of the screen. The controls throughout the app are extremely intuitive, leaving the child to just sit and listen. As children tap around each screen, or page, small animations increase interest. The narration is clear and can be customized to three different languages: German, English, and Mandarin Chinese.
Tap on the teddy bear from the app’s title page and you get access to the app’s main controls. From here you can do a variety of things to make the app more enjoyable. Volume for both the music and the narrator can be adjusted. You can change the language setting here, as well. You can share the story and your experience through social media. Finally, you can browse the virtual library and select from an assortment of other story books to read, all from the collection of books on the main character, Laura.
The real beauty of this app is that there are no in-app purchases available to tempt kids into taunting parents to buy something. Once you purchase the app, you get everything you need for a full experience. The only downside to the app is that the storytelling portion is completely passive. There are no words shown, nor is there the option to turn off narration, so that kids themselves can read the story. The app could potentially turn itself into “learn to read” app if it offered this option to show words and highlight each as the narrator speaks, or just have the words there for the kids to read.
Yet, without this feature, Laura’s Journey to the Stars was still a sheer joy to download and listen to. It definitely serves its target audience well, with colors that soothe and sounds and seal the experience. Add to this the small movements and animation that come to life when kids touch items that are artfully arranged on each page, evoking chuckles, delight, and wonderment. A true gift for kids. This app is also available for android.