Brush of Truth recently won the 2012 Media of the Year award in the Interactive Book App category in Creative Child Magazine’s Creative Toy Awards. The app was named a “Recommended iPad Book App for Older and Reluctant Readers Ages 8-12” by Digital Storytime, and one of “6 Interactive Book Apps to Get Kids Excited About Reading” by Tecca.
Brush of Truth, geared to third- through sixth-graders, is the first book app created by Story Bayou, a mom’s vision to get tweens to read, www.storybayou.com. Written in second person, “your” voice, Brush of Truth lets the user choose how the action unfolds at critical points in the plot. Brush of Truth has 125 pages of story and colorful illustrations, with 65 decision points and 20 possible endings. The app is regularly $1.99.
The app tells the story of two tweens who find an enchanted paintbrush. They begin to discover its powers as they go in adventures under the ocean, inside a sand castle, and while rescuing a sea creature.
“This book app engages kids in reading because it gives them choices in how the story unfolds,’” said Julie Landry Laviolette, author of Brush of Truth and founder of Story Bayou. “It also is an inexpensive form of educational technology that reinforces vocabulary skills, higher level thinking , cause and effect and reading comprehension.”
The free downloadable lesson plans include language arts exercises to teach compound and complex sentence writing. The activities were designed by Cyndie Sebourn, a National Board Certified Teacher, who specializes in Common Core State Standards-aligned curriculum for educational apps.
Lisa Holland, a speech/language pathologist with a specialty in reading/writing/
“Brush of Truth is a great app for all upper elementary students, especially for struggling readers, who need the motivation of being able to choose where the story goes,” Holland said. “It reinforces reading, following a narrative structure, and comprehension. It is great that it is not a one-time use app....there are 20 endings. Brush of Truth keeps students engaged because they want to discover all of the different places and directions where the story can go.”
Laviolette, a New Orleans native, is a former columnist and editor for The Times-Picayune. She currently lives in Fort Lauderdale, Fl., where she contributes to The Miami Herald, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, South Florida Parenting and more than 30 regional parenting publications in the U.S. and Canada.
Story Bayou, founded in 2011, partnered with Linxter, Inc., a Cooper City software engineering company, to create the mobile app. Brush of Truth was released in February 2012.