Luca Lashes is a sweet and simple storybook series where children's firsts are explained and celebrated. This is a good resource for toddlers & preschoolers in particular. These titles are unique in their focus on helping young kids navigate confusing and sometimes frightening first experiences. Luca Lashes is a little boy, preschool aged, with 'magic eyelashes' that help make him brave. In other books within the series, Luca goes on a plane trip, learns to swim and even goes to the dentist for the first time.
This title, Luca Lashes and His First Haircut, is about the first time Luca needs to get his hair trimmed. His mom explains what will happen when the hairdresser cuts his locks. When they get to the 'kid's salon', he sits in an airplane chair and has a positive experience overall. The title is lightly animated, with small interactive touches spread throughout the 16 page story. Colorful illustrations show this adorable little boy in natural family and community settings, including being at home, riding in his car seat and going to the salon.
This title, while nicely focused on children's first experiences, is not especially polished on a technical level. I experienced a number of issues, from having the menu button be inoperable on the title page, to a lack of any sort of navigation. When the menu did work, I discovered that there was no home button or way to get back to the beginning of the story. A text size option seems useless, as well, since the text is barely large enough in 'large' mode, making it nearly unreadable in 'medium' or 'small'. Something at least 2-3x larger would be nice, actually, for older adults sharing this title with a grandchild, for instance.
We found the interactivity hard to explore, since this app is set in 'autoplay' mode. You can tap pause during or right after the narration ends, but there is no way to read at your own pace. Also, once you tilt the iPad into portrait mode, the book is stuck that way, with no way back besides killing the app & restarting (double click home button and delete app, then reopen). The animation and use of sound effects is fun for kids, but not especially related to the text story. The narration is lovely, though, and highlights nicely word-for-word. The Luca Lashes apps also come with 5 languages in one app, including English, Spanish, French, Italian & Chinese.
Despite a few technical problems, I highly recommend this series for parents & educators looking for a simple way to teach kids about what to expect on big firsts, including this one that helps prepare toddlers & preschoolers for what can be a scary experience, where a stranger uses scissors to cut their hair. A brief, but lovely parent info section follows the storybook, including information about preparing young children for important firsts. For anyone looking specifically for a book app about a young child's first experiences, especially for kids with special needs, this is a good choice.
Note to readers: This review was expedited by the developer for a fee. The review's content is the same, but timing of publication has been prioritized.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Nicole & Damir Fonovich/Kim Stace Thomas
Luca Lashes LLC Apps
4 - 6 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: Yes
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 2 - 6
English • French • Spanish •Italian •
Luca Lashes is a little boy with long eyelashes that are magical, helping to make him brave when we closes them for a moment. In this title, he is brave as he gets his haircut for the very first time. His mom explains how the process works, and then takes him to a children's salon. He sits in an airplane shaped chair while the stylist clips his long locks. He is brave and has a good experience, explained step by step for young children.