The App Store is a treasure trove for those looking for interactive children’s storybooks. Especially now that many developers and publishers has realized the potential of the platform, interesting new reads are popping up daily.
Today, I want to highlight a new original series called The Wee Adventures of Shabu Shabu. Created by Singapore-based Steam Powered Productions, this epic tale is split into eight parts, each told in over 40 pages of stunning illustrations interspersed with interactive animations and mini games.
An Adventure Awaits
The Wee Adventures of Shabu Shabu revolves around an adventurous young rabbit, the granddaughter and protégé of a famous inventor. She has always dreamt of joining her grandfather on his adventures, but instead spends her childhood tinkering in his lab because he is overprotective of her.
Book 1 - The Jade Legend chronicles Shabu Shabu’s backstory, from her childhood days spent with her grandfather to the day when she finally decides to leave her burrow with her best friend Chow to uncover the secrets of the mythical Jade Rabbit.
This interactive book is quite lengthy at 54 pages. Each page comes with beautiful steampunk-inspired illustrations that hide little, story-driven animations. At one point, readers are challenged to solve a sliding tile puzzle to help Shabu Shabu unlock a secret chamber.
In accordance with the book’s adventure theme, readers are encouraged to explore the pages to find the secret toggles to reveal the hidden animations. Most of the time these are pretty easy to find, but should readers get stuck, they can bring up the hints by tapping on the button on the bottom right.
Like most book apps, the app offers readers the options to read alone or have it narrated. The latter reading mode is turned off by default, but can be turned on any time by tapping on the page number and accessing the Settings page.
Parents Need to Know
Although split into eight parts, each Shabu Shabu book is still quite long. Taking into account the slightly more complex words used in the narrative, I would say that the book is more suitable for slightly older kids (ages 6–12). However, younger juniors can also enjoy the story with the accompaniment of their parents.
Book 1 - Jade Legend is free of ads and in-app purchases. The iPad and Kindle versions of the app are already available now, with an Android version planned to come soon. The development team is also working to get physical copies of the title on Amazon.
Things I Like
The Wee Adventures of Shabu Shabu - Book 1 - The Jade Legend is a wonderful read! In my opinion the first book is crucial as it can make or break the rest of the series, and I must say Book 1 - The Jade Legend delivered.
I think the first book establishes the characters and the background story nicely, while leaving plenty of room for plot development. It also manages to include plenty implicit moral lessons to take away, such as persistence, friendship, and bravery.
While there aren’t that many characters introduced yet, the ones already out are quite interesting. Shabu Shabu in particular speaks to me as she is one sassy heroine! I love that the writer made her an inventor, a profession that is more often associated with men. I also find it cute that the characters are all named after Japanese and Chinese dishes.
Another positive thing to say about the app is how the illustrations are beautiful and highly detailed. The steampunk theme is unique, and quite fitting for the story’s adventurous theme. I also like the light animations which further emphasizes the story.
The first of an eight-part, epic steampunk-infused series for kids, The Wee Adventures of Shabu Shabu - Book 1 - The Jade Legend sets the stage for an exciting journey. The story is nicely written, and there are plenty of things to keep readers engaged, such as the top notch illustrations and fun animations. Shabu Shabu makes a spunky heroine, and we can’t wait to see the rest of her thrilling adventures.
The Wee Adventures of Shabu Shabu - Book 1 - The Jade Legend is available for iPad
Get it on the App Store: iPad
Like the app? You might enjoy these:
- Panda Stories for Kids with Pandora and the Beribolt Tribe
- Bramble Berry Tales - The Great Sasquatch Spotted on the iPad
- Extraordinary Jenny Jones