“Appisode” is a word that describes interactive, animated cartoon episodes presented in an app format. We’ve seen a handful of appisodes since we started this blog, and that number is steadily growing. The first that started it all was Leo’s Pad, which reimagines historic figures as children. A more recent one is ShipAntics by pop-up book maker StoryToys, which follows the zany adventures of a seafaring crew.
Today, we’re adding a new series to the list: Windy and Friends. Based on the book series by Judith Steedman and Robin Mitchell Cranfield, it combines traditional crafting and stop-motion animation to create an interactive world.
It’s aimed at toddlers and preschoolers, with every episode featuring everyday adventures and simple problem solving. The first app is called Windy’s Lost Kite, which introduces readers to Windy’s whimsical world.
The Lost Kite
It’s a blustery day in the orchard, so Windy makes herself a kite. Unfortunately, the strong wind blows it away. With her friend Spring’s help, Windy chases her kite through the paper city and the sugary Winter Woods.
As kids follow Windy around, they’ll catch a glimpse of her whimsical handmade world as well as her colorful friends. They can also touch various objects on the screen to interact with them. For example, tapping on the pear in the tree will cause it to fall and hit Windy on the head.
The app also includes two bonus activities. The first activity, called Soundboard, allows kids to play instruments with Windy and her friends. The second activity, called Word Map, shows a touchable map of Windy’s world. Kids can tap on the places and characters on the map to listen to their names in both English and French.
Parents Need to Know
Windy’s Lost Kite is a short story suitable for kids ages 3-6, but can easily be enjoyed by older kids as well. The app comes with three reading modes — Read to Me, Read Myself, and Autoplay — to cater to different reading levels. It’s also possible to switch between English and French on-the-fly.
As an appisode, the app allows kids to interact with the characters. These hotspots should be easy to find, but if needed, hints can be toggled on to show kids where to touch.
Windy’s Lost Kite doesn’t contain third-party ads and in-app purchases. You’ll find links to the developer’s other apps, but to access them you must first adjust the hands of a clock as requested. A protected parent’s section contains additional activities to extend playtime in the real world.
Things I Like
Windy’s Lost Kite introduces a charming world filled with adorable (and stylish) characters. There is much to adore about this app, from the lovely handcrafted puppetry to the playful soundscape. The lighthearted story, already suitable for young children, is made more engaging thanks to the interactive stop-motion animation.
Additionally, the two bonus activities entertain kids after they’ve completed reading. While these activities are meant to be playful, there is an opportunity for learning here as kids expand their vocabulary in both English and French.
The first of a new app series aimed for preschoolers and toddlers, Windy’s Lost Kite presents a whimsical world filled with handcrafted characters. The combination of stop-motion animation and clever interactivity makes for an engaging reading experience, while two bonus activities add an extra layer of fun. I’m looking forward to Windy’s next adventures.
App was purchased by us.