Balloons have a special presence in the hand of a child. Tiny hands delight in holding a balloon that symbolizes a celebration, dreaminess of flying, and cheerfulness in bright colors. Though it may be devastating for a child to lose a balloon sailing away up high in the sky, Where Do Balloons Go? explores the amazing possibilities of where a balloon might end up and be doing, as the balloons are humorously personified in this endearing storybook app about letting go.
Where Do Balloons Go? An Uplifting Mystery, written and narrated by Jamie Lee Curtis, illustrated by Laura Cornell, and published as an interactive app by Auryn, Inc., is available for the iPad at $5.99, or try the lite version for free. I would recommend it for children ages 2 and up, though some of the interactive features are suited for older kids.
When you open the app, visit the Settings section. Here, you can turn the following features on or off: voice over, music, hints, and bookmark (if you leave the app, you can return to the page you last left off). If it’s your first time experiencing this app, you’ll want to leave the hints on to know where to tap for the animation on the screen. Each word is highlighted when spoken with the voice over feature, and after the narration, your child can interact with the page to discover more surprises. Be sure to tap on all the characters in the story too, for extra dialogue and sound effects. Turn the page by tapping on the orange arrows at the bottom of the screen.
There are so many great interactive features for your child to uncover in Where Do Balloons Go?:
Write a postcard message from a missing balloon to its lost owner. You can chose the postcard’s design, and actually email the card to a friend.
Tap and drag a wind-blowing fan across the screen, and watch all the balloons blow around.
Go to a balloon dance party, and get all the balloons moving to the beat by tapping on them.
When a balloon flies out of this world, connect the stars in the night sky to create a constellation.
Record your own helium balloon voice and match balloons to their owners.
Look for a clown and touch its nose to enter a fun animal game, and make balloon animals by twisting inflated balloons, just like a clown.
I appreciate that Where Do Balloons Go? isn’t over in a short few minutes. There are hundreds of interactions across seventeen pages. A great amount of detail and quality went into this app, to not only share an imagination-igniting story, but get your kids thinking in the fun games, and delighting in the interactions they hold the power of directing on each page. The music is also very well done, and really enhances the experience and brings the environments the balloons find themselves in to life.
Check out this video of Jamie Lee Curtis, describing the inspiration for the story:
Where Do Balloons Go? is an imaginative, funny, and creativity-stimulating storybook app, that heightens the ceiling of your child’s imagination to the sky, as they wonder along with free-flying balloons, and play in exploratory, interactive activities on every page.
Disclosure: I do not receive compensation for writing this review. The photos used were taken as screen shots from my iPhone or iPad. Views expressed in this review are purely and only mine. Pricing was accurate at the time of this review.