Unlocking imagination to combat the plight of bullying
A common theme in children’s books has always been ways for kids to overcome the troubles they face. One of the most poignantly delivered we’ve encountered on iOS is Dandelion, the tale of a young boy using his imagination to grow in confidence. It’s an app packed with interactivity, and beautifully illustrated.
Whether it holds together as a story is the question. It’s a little loose with the details of Benjamin Brewster’s journey, other than that he finds a dandelion and draws strength from the wishes he makes on it. The narration is soothing, with just the right amount of inflection, and there are some fun sound effects too.
Perhaps in this instance the story has to make room for the design and interactivity, which are both top-notch. Moving your device sees the background and foreground move in turn, giving you a neat 3D effect; tapping various objects and characters also leads to some nice interaction. We were particularly impressed to see the microphone utilised for blowing the dandelion, a feature of the iPad and iPhone that is often overlooked.
The art is really quite brilliant. Hand-drawn and then processed, it brings a dark mood that couldn’t have been achieved in any other way; and yet a playful spirit lurks beneath the layers. While Dandelion deals with a dark subject, it doesn’t come at the expense of creating a fun and engaging experience. That’s a fine balance, but it comes out on the other side leaving you feeling quite upbeat.
While it may not be the longest or the most comprehensive story we’ve encountered, Dandelion is one of the most arresting and interesting.
It may be about bullying, but Dandelion carries enough humour and fun to be an uplifting story.
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