As adults, we sometimes forget that growing up isn’t always easy. There is a fair share of pain, and sometimes anger, to be had. But the ups and downs are also the reason why stories about growing up are interesting to read. Clean and Bright is an example of such stories.
In this interactive story from Chiquimedia, young Sylvester Clean and Bright gets upset when his parents prioritize his new baby brother over taking a walk with him. In a fit of jealousy, he leaves his familiar, immaculate neighborhood and ends up lost in a strange, twinkling forest. And although he is initially afraid, he eventually comes to appreciate the beautiful wilderness.
Clean and Bright is an allegorical tale about the adventure of growing up. It starts with a protected child — Sylvester in his bright white clothes — who, after experiencing the pain of being “let go” by his parents, eventually discovers a world filled with new colors and experiences. At the same time, the parents also discover (and learn to accept) that children might grow up to see the world differently than they do.
The story is delightful in itself, but the most outstanding aspect of the app is undeniably the color pencil illustrations. They are sleek but childlike, and vibrant. I love the “duality” theme that runs throughout the story: straight houses versus curvy trees, white fences versus blood-orange sunsets. My favorite scene is the one in which Sylvester and his “antithesis” ride a boat through a firefly lit pond — how wonderful would this be as an art print!
It’s also of note that every scene comes with small surprises. For instance, scratch the blank page to reveal the lush forest. Tap to change the traffic light. Scrub to make bubbles appear in the bath. Drag the pieces from the floor to build a cabin for Sylvester. There are small dots that show you where to tap so you don’t get lost, plus an indicator bar that lets you know how many hotspots are left to find.
At 19 pages, this story is a short but memorable journey. The only thing that is missing is audio narration, but this is the kind of story that you want to read together with your kids anyway. It’s available in English, Spanish, and Catalan, with support for more languages to come soon.
Clean and Bright is available to download on the App Store. You can read the first few pages for free but to unlock the full story, it is necessary to make an in-app purchase. The purchase is protected with parental control and it is the only that exists inside the app. The app doesn’t have third-party advertising and social media links.
App was provided for our honest review.
Chiquimedia a little studio from Barcelona dedicated to the development of apps for kids. Clean and Bright is their second release. You should also check out their other app we’ve reviewed:
Nurot is a beautiful picture book that both children and adults can enjoy. It is filled with positive messages, such as the importance of communication, putting one’s happiness above your own, and fixing your mistakes. The book, available in English and Spanish, is recommended for ages 5 and up.