Dragon Brush

Dragon Brush

Read and paint along with Bing-Wen in this interactive book

The iPad has become an entire entertainment centre for both adults and kids, allowing you to watch TV and movies, play games, and more recently, read books on its touchscreen. While many books are available through Apple’s own iBooks store, some of the best storytelling apps come in standalone form and make the most of iPad’s many input systems.

This app follows the story of a young rabbit called Bing-Wen who loves to draw and paint, but has no money for food, let alone paper, paints and tools.

One day, he helps an old lady and in return she gives him a paintbrush she claims has magical powers. When he next tries to paint something, it comes alive, and Bing-Wen uses it to help his family and friends with fresh food and other things that brighten up the village. We won’t ruin the end for you or your kids, but it offers some nice twists and a great moral at the end.

The app uses the iPad extremely well, too; each page contains text, as well as an animated drawing that usually slides in and plays like a mini movie. There are interactive elements on most pages too, allowing you to tap and swipe to activate extra animations. On some pages you will be tasked with rubbing a finger on the screen to reveal the painting that Bing-Wen has created, before it animates.

The art style is beautiful, and gentle music accompanies the story. There is also a quite brilliant painting section where you can let your imagination run wild and add a little of your own work to the selection of artwork on offer in the app. The painting aspect is genuinely impressive, too, thanks to the varied brush strokes and great designs.

The book is relatively short, which is a real shame when the rest of the app does so many things right. That said, it’s probably a good length for a bed-time story, and the painting aspect adds value to it. Ultimately, it’s certainly worth the asking price.

Rated 4 out of 5

A well-designed book with nice artwork, great animations and a brilliant painting section.


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