Flora’s Forest is an interactive story created by a new Canadian startup team called NoodleBright in conjunction with HabitatSeven. NoodleBright’s team consists of five individuals among whom there is Jamie Herring, the animator, Sacha Gabriel the musical composer and voiceover artist, and Helen Dardick, the illustrator. Together Jamie, Sacha and Helen, each focusing on a specifc area of the app, have created an enchanting forest for Flora to explore on her search to find a lost kite. In the forest, Flora meets some suprising creatures who help her find the kite.
The interactive story has two modes: play and scenes. Play allows a preschooler to read the story without a grownup, so long as he or she can press the arrow key on their own! I love the inclusion of a scenes option in interactive stories because it easily allows the user to go back to their favorite pages. In the current edition there is a Facebook option right under the scene option on the home page, which I would prefer not be there, given the age of the app users. The developers assure me that in an upcoming September release the Facebook button will be moved to a parent’s page. To get a brief taste of Flora’s Forest, watch the video on http://florasforest.com/.
Flora’s Forest is recommended for children ages 2 – 5. I had my 8 year old try it out and she felt she was too old for it. Subsequently, I handed the iPad over to my 4 year old. I was worried that she might be scared when Flora enters the forest to search for her kite. The music becomes a bit more ominous and the forest seems slightly menacing, especially a couple of birds! But I soon heard her laughing away and saying “he has three eyes!” when the first (friendly) monster appeared. When the story was over, she begged me to restart it immediately and told me that she loves the red monster with “three eyes, three teeth, three hands, three feet, three everything!”
The sound effects are alternatively cute and funny and just perfect for young ones. They engage and elicit laughs and giggles. I loved the yellow monster’s musical head while my daughter enjoyed the ‘tea kettle’ sound and raindrops. The forest is made magical by Helen Dardick’s vibrant creations and colors. The graphics really come alive and make you feel like you’re getting into the story. Preschoolers will love interacting with Flora and her new friends!
Requirements: Compatible with iPad.Requires iOS 4.0 or later.
Seller: HabitatSeven and NoodleBright
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this app for review purposes.