When my kids were younger, one of my favorite things to do was build all sorts of forts out of our living room couch cushions. With just a handful of pillows, some blankets and loads of imagination, my boys and I had all we needed to take off on loads of adventures.
And then there were the times we’d get a new washing machine or freezer. Best gifts ever, right? No, not the appliances, I’m talking about the giant boxes they came in! With just a pair of scissors and loads of markers and crayons, we’d turn an ordinary box into a house, a TV set or my all-time favorite: a rocket ship.
I have a feeling just about every kid on the planet (and beyond!) has spent some time flying off in their own imaginary rocket ships. Exploring strange new worlds. Seeking fantastic new life. Boldly toddling where no toddler has ever gone before!
That’s why I absolutely love the interactive storybook Laura’s Journey to the Stars put out by Bastei Entertainment. It does a fantastic job of capturing that imaginary sense of wonder and adventure we all went through so many times as kids.
A truly sweet story, Laura’s Journey to the Stars tells the tale of young Laura and her little brother Tommy, who climb aboard their cardboard rocket ship and head to the stars for some otherworldly child-like adventures.
The illustrations by popular children’s book illustrator Klaus Baumgart immediately set the innocent tone of this interactive series. While I know I was reading this book on my iPad, it never seemed like a digital version in terms of appearance. The watercolor style to the art definitely reminded me of a children’s picture book with it’s bright and warm colors.
But that doesn’t mean Laura’s Journey to the Stars doesn’t take advantage of its digital surroundings. Far from it! In addition to a calming, lullaby-style musical score throughout, there are loads of animated scenes, fun sound effects and even a bunch of mini games!
Just about every page of the story has characters or objects moving around, but the real fun is exploring each page to find the hidden actions. Click on a window shade and watch it pull down. Click on a toothbrush and you can see Laura grab it in her hands, as well as squirt some toothpaste on it! Snoop around even more and you can actually help Laura brush her teeth!
As you go from page to page exploring, you may even find yourself on a number of fun mini games revolving around familiar territory like an alien version of Whack-a-Mole and even a Stinky Sock Matching Game.
The book’s narrator has a very clear and soothing voice to quickly lull you right into the story. You can even choose from three different languages: English, German and Mandarin Chinese. I can’t speak German or Chinese, but it’s still pretty neat following along as I listen to each different narrator.
Key Features of Laura’s Journey to the Stars include:
- Beautifully drawn illustrations by the popular children’s book illustrator Klaus Baumgart
- More than 80 animated scenes, clever sound effects, and engaging mini games
- Captivating narration by native speakers in three languages: English, German, and Mandarin Chinese
- Intuitive, child-friendly controls
- Social media sharing, volume and language controls, and library panel accessible via the title page’s teddy bear
- No in-app purchases
While my boys are a bit too old for this type of interactive story, I know they’d still love to play around with it, mainly to find the hidden animations and mini games.
It’s really a wonderful tale that’s beautifully illustrated and sure to capture the minds of young adventurers everywhere. And you don’t even need to rip your couch apart for this journey.
Laura’s Journey to the Stars is available now for just $2.99