The latest creative offering from Auryn derives from Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell’s poetic picture book of the same name, first published in 2005. It starts with the simple question that every child must have pondered – what happens to a balloon when you accidentally let it go? Take your mind on this imaginative journey to discover that the answer may be far from scientific.
From the very first page when you tap to release the balloon, you are an essential part of the story as you explore all the possible answers to the central question. Maybe balloons take holidays – read an e-postcard from one of them, write your own card, select an image and send it on its way to your friends. Or maybe balloons meet up for a Big Balloon Dance. Make the balloons dance to the beat then try to find all 200 balloon guests – a counter keeps track for you.
Each scene is crowded with interactions, from using a virtual fan to blow the balloons around to playing with your food at the balloon restaurant. There are even scenes within scenes, in which you can play dot-the-dot with the stars or blow into the microphone to inflate a balloon, following step-by-step instructions to twist and shape your very own balloon animal.
When you (eventually) reach the end of the magical journey, there is still the Balloon Theatre to explore. Working backstage, build your own characters from a well-stocked wardrobe. Then, move them on stage, scripting and producing your own play. Record your voice – the helium version is guaranteed to reduce producer, crew and audience to hysterics.
From the intricately detailed images and the clever use of technology to the opportunity to create your own theatre productions, this app is engaging at many levels. There is so much to investigate and discover, that your child will return to it time and time again. Each experience will be a new opportunity for creative play.
Age range: 2 – 8
Educational value: creative thinking; rhythm and rhyme; imaginative story telling; creative play
Fun rating: 5/5
Educational rating: 4/5