Belle's Art Museum Adventure: Interactive Children's Story

App review by
Jenny Bristol, Common Sense Media
Belle's Art Museum Adventure: Interactive Children's Story App Poster Image
Zooming in on famous artwork is cool, but rest is just OK.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

The book has options for kids to read the story on their own, or it will read the story to them. Kids turn the pages themselves, but can go back to the main screen at any time. However, the words do not highlight when read, and there is no way to navigate to a specific page.

Language
Consumerism

A small link on the main page opens a browser window to the developer's website.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Belle's Art Museum Adventure: Interactive Children's Story is an interactive storybook about a girl who visits an art museum. At one point, a boy and his dog from one painting come alive and join her in the museum, running around and causing mischief. Then they settle down and look at the art with Belle. Famous paintings are hanging on the walls in this virtual museum. On select screens, kids can zoom in to have a closer look at the famous artwork. Each page of the story has one or more interactive elements that kids can tap, including creating a sound effect or movement on the screen. There is more text on each screen than in most other storybook apps, but there is a choice on the main screen to have the app read the story to kids or have kids read on their own.

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Is it any good?

BELLE'S ART MUSEUM ADVENTURE: INTERACTIVE CHILDREN'S STORY is a nice departure from heavily commercialized storybook apps. While the animations for the interactive elements on each page are simplistic, the illustrations are fresh and the museum collections are real. The real paintings and sculptures, some of which kids get to examine close up, can help them become familiar with museum art. However, the master pieces are never identified, nor is there any discussion of the artists. The storyline has positive messages about pet care and the importance of art. In one part of the story, Belle has always wanted a dog, but she learns from a dog in a
painting that they require a lot of room to run, which her family
doesn't have. In the end she settles for walking a neighbor's dog. In the other part of the story, Belle learns how art can make us feel emotions.

Missing from this book app is any way to navigate to a specific page and having the words highlight as read. Also, more sophisticated interactivity would have enhanced this app and helped to further kids' interest in art.

App details

For kids who love art and stories

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