Have you ever heard of Paul Klee? He was a Swiss-German artist whom many regarded as one of the great creative innovators of his time. His portfolio included more than 10,000 paintings and drawings influenced by various movements, including expressionism, surrealism, and cubism. He once said that he wanted to "make the invisible visible" through his work.
Inspired by Klee's passion and creative spirit, developer Lapisly released ExploreArt Klee. It's an interactive picture book that takes you on a tour of Klee's fantastic world. Along the way, you will be able to learn about his life and the things that inspired his art. You also get to see his paintings brought to life with charming 2D animation.
Discover Paul Klee's Works
The app begins by introducing you to Cicero (Cice) and his cat, Ku, who were created by artist Liza Schiavi based on Klee's portrait of Senecio. The two characters serve as your guides and narrator throughout the book. Then, starting at Klee's study, you explore four subjects that were great interest to Klee: nature, music, cities, and puppets.
Included with each subject are Klee's original paintings, which have been animated and made interactive. For example, in "Landscape with Yellow Birds", parallax effect has been applied to create a sense of depth and realism. You can pan horizontally to look around the scene, and tap on the birds to make them move. Original acoustic music has also been added to complete the magical mood.
In all, the app includes 6 paintings by Paul Klee: "Crucifers and Spiral Flowers", "Landscape with Yellow Birds", "Castle and Sun", "Dream Town", "Fugue in Red", and "Twitter Machine". There is an interactive puppet theater featuring puppets created by Klee for his son, at the end of the book.
Parents Need to Know
Because of the way contents are structured, ExplorArt Klee is suitable for a wide range of ages. Younger kids will be able to follow the story with the narrated reading option, while older kids who wish to learn more can access additional snippets of information on each page by tapping the red balloon on bottom of the screen. These snippets include detailed information about a painting and photos.
The app, available in five languages, makes it easy to switch between languages any time. Simply swipe up to bring up the menu bar then tap on the speech balloon. You can also jump to a specific page using the page navigator that is included in the menu bar.
The app is child-safe: it has no in-app purchases, third-party adverts, or unsecured links to external sites. All the contents are included with the initial download, so you don't need an Internet connection to use the app. If you want to preview the app before buying it, you can check out the Lite version.
Things I Like
ExplorArt Klee is a great way to introduce kids (and adults) to the art of Paul Klee. Even if they are not familiar with the artist, the structure of the contents make it easy for them to follow along and appreciate his works. Also, the app has a positive message that can be applied to life in general: that one's work can grow bigger and last a long time because people who are inspired by it continue to create new things.
A big part of the app's appeal is how Klee's paintings are brought to life in magical ways. My personal favorite is the Twittering Machine, but each painting has its own charm. With such diverse work available to them, kids should be able to find something that resonates well with them.
One thing about the app that could be improved is the way text is presented on each page. I wish the developer had used a more legible typeface, or at least picked a bigger font size. It would also be nice if the app included text highlighting for younger kids.
Whether you admire Paul Klee or art in general, it's worth taking a look at ExplorArt Klee. It's informative and beautifully illustrated, plus it allows you to interact with some of Klee's iconic works in fun ways. What's more, it can be enjoyed by a wide age range.
Get it on the App Store: iPad
App was provided for our honest review.