Magical Adventure Story
Divided into nine chapters of about five minutes each, Storm & Skye unfolds with great narration and a video presentation that combines zooming in on a scene with some character animation. There are no words shown, rather kids experience this story by listening, watching, and occasionally tapping to hear extra sounds and see short animations.
The story begins with little boy Storm and his mother deciding to get their car cleaned. Storm has never driven through a car wash before. His mom playfully teases him about the brushes and scrubbers appearing to be scary. While in the car wash, Storm sees some unusual things and decides to return on his bike to investigate.
At the car wash, Storm befriends Skye, a little girl whose uncle owns the car wash. The two sneak inside to discover that there is a dragon and a knight on horseback within the car wash. After much excitement, the two children help the dragon and knight return to their world by going through the car wash's red door. In the magical world on the other side of the door, Storm discovers that the dragon is Skye's friend Rascal. The two children and Rascal play games together. Eventually, Storm and Skye return to their own world by exiting through the red door.
This charming story about finding a dragon and a knight in the mists of a car wash does a great job of blurring the lines between what is imaginary and what is real. Did these two new friends really see the dragon and the knight or were they just pretending?
The story reinforces the concept that friendships are built on shared play experiences, regardless of whether they are real or imagined. It also introduces the theme of how to handle fear. When frightened by the dragon, Storm repeatedly hears in his head his father's advice to act when he's afraid. He does act, and in doing so is able to lure the dragon through the red door.
The narration, provided by Michael Harrigan, reminds me of the superb narration of Jim Dale reading Harry Potter
. This gifted actor creates voices and moods that transport you into the story. Also quiet good is the accompanying musical score, which ebbs and swells at appropriate moments to create tension.
The stunning illustrations are beautifully drawn and filmed in such a manner as to create the feeling of movement as the camera zooms in and pans across scenes. There is occasional animation, such as eyes blinking, the background moving, and the dragon's ribs heaving as it breathes. While Storm & Skye
doesn't look like an animated cartoon, it offers smooth transitions from scene to scene. The reader feels as if he is watching a video story.
Each chapter ends with a scene in which there are several hotspots for kids to tap. Readers can make the car honk, lights activate, and lightning appear in the sky. This interactivity is mild, making it seem like a fun extra; but it doesn't really draw the reader further into the story. It isn't as involved as the interactivity found in other, similar video story presentations, such as Tom & Jerry: Santa's Little Helpers
. Storm & Skye
is a delightful storytelling experience filled with wonder and adventure. It is easy to explore over several days, because it is broken into chapters.
First of a Series of Storm and Skye Stories
The developer says this is the first in a series of stories about Storm and Skye. We can't wait to see the adventures this budding friendship will have next, especially if the red door into fantasy worlds is opened again. This first story hints of Storm having trouble accepting his parents' divorce and the new man in his mom's life, and of Skye not liking her gender. Will these hints be further developed?
Going forward, we hope the developers are more careful about modeling good behavior by not showing characters smoking (Skye's uncle), presenting safe driving with Storm in the back seat of the car instead of the front, and having Storm and Skye wear helmets while riding their bikes.
Download Storm & Skye
if you want your children to enjoy a well-told fantasy tale. It would be perfect when traveling
, since it takes about 45 minutes to watch and hear it all. It is also a fun tale to watch before several bedtimes because of its built-in chapter breaks; and it may help kids slip into their own imaginary worlds of dreams.
This Storm & Skye app review was written by Jinny Gudmundsen.
All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.