My Storybook Pirate: Interactive Book Creator
My Storybook Pirate: Interactive Book Creator is an application available on iOS and is an educational app ideal for ages 5 to 11. The app will teach children the basics of visual scripting through a module coding system and enable the child to explore a vast combination of characters set in a pirate theme and construct their own personal stories.
Upon opening the app, the user is greeted with a delightful splash screen and colourful graphics that really appeal to the younger user, not to mention the great music. There are three options on the main menu. The buttons are large and helped by visual prompts that hover above. There is also a settings menu that provide options for music, 3 language setting in English, Spanish and Chinese and ‘For Parents’ button. The ‘For Parents’ option provides basic information about the app. The developers may consider expanding this to give suggestions to how the app might be best used with their children.
Returning to the main menu we opt for the first instruction which is to create our pirate characters. We simply love this section of the app and our users really enjoyed all the options that the app provides. The graphics are beautifully illustrated and you can create a boy or girl character with options such as skin colour, hair, facial features, tops, trousers, boots and of course eye patches! Your previous characters can be seen on the right hand side and edited accordingly. New characters can be saved and the main menu can be returned to by pressing the ‘Home’ button in the top left hand corner. The characters make some great interactive noises as you design them and the simple interface was a delight to use even for our much younger children. The developers may consider creating a user profile so multiple accounts, characters and books can be saved within the app. This would be ideal for a classroom situation.
The middle button on the main menu enables the user to start creating their story. This screen has a multitude of buttons and take some getting used to. The app does state that it suitable for ages 5 to 11, but we would say that the story making and animation is quite challenging and younger users would certainly need some support with the application.
There are 6 button options within this screen. The ‘Home button’ once again appears in the top right. There is an option to save the book to the Library in the top middle of the screen and a page selection editor in the bottom right where pages can be added to the book. The main user interface button for creating the story can be found in the bottom right. We would best describe this as the character button. Here characters that you have created can be dragged into the scene. Other options include adding other characters, adding weapons, and changing the background. We suggest that the user chooses the background first and then creates a story around this. The figures can be scaled by a simple pinch and expand method and we really like the option to delete the characters with a simple drag and drop. Some of our younger users with fewer fine motor skills did find scrolling through the characters quite difficult and often ended up with many characters on the screen that they didn’t want.
Once a character has been chosen the user can now use the top right hand menu to animate the character. There is an option to rotate the character above the head and our users found the characters very easy to move around the scene.
The animation menu is where the app really comes into its own and steps up in a level of difficulty. The app introduces a modular coding system where the user can choose a sequence of actions to place in the time line above. Characters can be programmed to move and speech bubbles appear. The child can even record their own voice or add sound effects to events happening in the story, our users loved this feature! There are multiple options here which include; Character movement, adding characters, repeat loops, adding speech and multiple actions. We particularly liked the ‘action’ programming and we soon had two characters battling it out on the ship’s deck! Great attention to detail with the wooden swords.
Once completed the story can be saved into the Library. The library can store a number of stories and has some unique interactive features. Wake up the sleeping octopus or travel around the wall map. Set the clock or take a pirate photo to place in the frame. The developers may consider a print or print/share feature here too.
It is safe to say that the app has endless features and scenarios. Sadly, our youngers users often got lost in the character programming and some became a little frustrated, teachers and parents may need to support the child here. There were often so many menus open on the screen that we were all lost. The developers may consider some further button prompts to tell the user which button does what action as some of the buttons colours and symbols look the same.
This is a fabulous app that not only encourages communication, storytelling and imagination but also provides and educational insight into basic coding and sequencing. The developers can be highly commended for the amount of research and dedication it has taken to create such a wonderful piece of software. It would be great to see maybe a lighter version of the app where the coding is much more simplified and more suitable for younger users. We hope that the developers consider other themes in the future such as Cowboys and Indians or Space. This application is richly deserving of our five-star recommendation!
From the Developer
My Storybook Pirate: Interactive Book Creator is an educational app ideal for ages 5 to 11. We look to teach the basics of visual scripting through our coding module system.
Your child will be free to explore and create a vast combination of characters set in a pirate theme and construct their own personal stories.
Ahoy there Captain! Ready to set sail on your own adventure?!
- Construct your own story book that you can read back to yourself
- Create your own crew from a big range of clothing options
- Place items in your story that contain unique features
- Click on the backgrounds to unveil secrets
- Record your own voice or use a list of premade sounds to add depth to your book
- Have a visual scripting that allows you control what your crew does when reading a specific page
You, Captain, will be in charge of our adventure as we set sail looking for buried treasures! What adventures have you dreamt of? Well, now you can make them!
If you’re interested in our content and want to know more about what we do, you can find us at www.lustudiogames.com
SubjectsEnglish / Literacy
AgesPrimary School Apps (5-7 Years)
Primary School Apps (7-11 Years)