Note: This App is formatted for the smaller screen.
Brush of Truth, developed by Story Bayou, Inc., is an extremely clever, interactive book app [for iOS, Google-Play & Kindle - See "Other Versions" tab above]. It can be customized for the needs of the reader by the reader. In Brush of Truth, two tweens discover an enchanted paintbrush created by a medieval sorcerer. The paintbrush is magical – whatever you paint with it comes to life! There are many adventures included in Brush of Truth. Some of these adventures include helping a sea goddess find the key to the oceans dying sea life, exploring dark tunnels under the earth, and fleeing talking vultures.
What makes Brush of Truth a great storybook app? According to my son who is twelve and a bit of a reluctant reader, there is something about Brush of Truth which sets it apart from other interactive storybook apps. In fact, it puts the user in the perspective of the character in the story; the story is told in second person. This specific app allows the user to choose how the story will actually unfold. Throughout the story, there are 65 checkpoints, which are opportunities in which the reader is faced with a decision to make. The reader never knows what will happen next – it all depends on the choice that he/she makes.
The book features twenty possible endings and the user has the ability to go back in the story and make new choices which will yield new characters and new endings. Note: there are 65 decision points! In order for the user to finish reading the story, he/she has to find all twenty endings. Upon finding all twenty endings, the app provides the user with a reward. With so many adventures and so much built in creativity, I witnessed my son becoming totally immersed in the story himself. The user is actually the main character of the story. Brush of Truth is an engaging tale for tweens eight – twelve years old, including reluctant readers. It also includes illustrations as visual aids for the user. The app is native and therefore is saved on the device and does not require an internet connection in order to use it. Brush of Truth is a wonderful interactive storybook app – we are eagerly looking forward to its sequel, titled Brush of Secrets!
When selecting books for youngsters to read, there are many important points to consider. We want our students and children not only to enjoy reading the stories, but we want them to be completely immersed within the story. A good book is one you do not want to put down. Obviously, the content and vocabulary of the book need to be at the reading level of the child. If a child is delayed in language skills, it is likely that his or her vocabulary and comprehension skills will not be up to grade level as well. All of the above applies to choosing interactive storybook apps as well. Educators and parents need to choose and use the technology that suits the needs of the audience.
When we corresponded with Julie Laviolette she gave us this quote:
“As a mom, I’ll do anything to get my kids to read. That’s why I developed Brush of Truth as a longer-text app. It doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, but for this age group, I wanted more reading and less game. So I designed it to engage kids through the choices they make in the story. If you give kids a compelling story, they will stick with it.” And about marketing the app- “I’ve found through marketing this app that parents and teachers like Brush of Truth because it gets kids to spend more time reading. Teachers have used it in class to inspire creative writing exercises and to get kids excited about reading. I now have Common Core State Standards-aligned lesson plans on my website, www.storybayou.com, that work with the app, and I’m in the process of developing more.”Highly Recommended! This app is available for Google-Play, Amazon Kindle Fire, iOS devices and also Windows. Links for all formats are under 'Other Versions' tab above, except Windows, which can be found at: http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/brush-of-truth/d54a8f9a-b335-40d8-aa28-d178579ccfd8
This app has been thoroughly evaluated by our staff. Please click on the 'star ratings' tab above, to see how it fared in all nine of our rating categories. See synopsis tab for more details about the storyline.
This review was originally published by TeachersWithApps.com on August 18, 2012. Teachers With Apps was co-founded by Jayne Clare, a Special Education teacher, and Anne Rachel, an artist and Early Childhood educator.
Their goal is to be a credible resource for quality educational apps. Created to help parents, grandparents, teachers, administrators and anyone else, wade through the vast number of ”educational” apps being introduced on a daily basis.
Teachers With Apps was founded by two lifelong educators and is dedicated to the idea that quality mobile educational apps are the tools of the future but they need to be used responsibly. Remember, not all educational apps are created equal.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Round By Design
Story Bayou, Inc.
15 - 20 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 9 - 12 +
English • French • Dutch •
You choose how the action unfolds in this interactive book app for kids 8-12. Geared to third- through sixth-graders, Brush of Truth, told in “your” voice, has 65 decision points and 20 possible endings.
At critical points during the story, you’ll be confronted with choices. Choose a path, and the story will go on from there. You’ll face challenges, solve riddles and investigate mysteries. You’ll meet curious characters and explore thrilling new places. Your decisions may lead to a glorious victory or a desperate end.
But have no fear. If you don’t like where your choices lead, start over and choose different actions. It’s all up to you. . .
In Brush of Truth, you and your sister find a crudely-crafted paintbrush on a beach and discover it has magical powers. You soon learn it is the long-lost Brush of Truth, created by a medieval sorcerer to hand off his enchantments to his children. In this book app, you help a sea goddess find the key to the ocean’s dying sea life, explore tunnels under the earth and flee talking vultures. But watch out! Descendants of the evil ruler, Tortura, may be after you.
- Choices on how the action unfolds
- Ability to go back and find new endings
- 65 interactive decision points
- 20 possible endings
- 125 pages of story
- Engaging tale for tweens 8 to 12, including reluctant readers
- Colorful illustrations
- An ideal fit for classroom technology
This book app is the first release by Story Bayou, Inc., a series of interactive book apps for tweens developed by a parent looking to interest kids in reading through the magic of technology.
Story Bayou (a play on “Story by You”) was created and written by Julie Landry Laviolette, a mom of two and longtime journalist. Wanting a little more fun in her life, she decided to create her own.