App-y Day: Dragon Brush

An interactive storybook

dragon brush app!

App, schmap. Call us old-fashioned, but we love hardcover children’s books.

Famous. last. words.

Dragon Brush, a new interactive story book for the iPad and iPhone, is exemplary in its use of storytelling, animation, and technology. In short, download it now, but keep reading.

Based on a Chinese fable, it’s the tale of a bunny who’s given a magic paint brush — everything he paints comes to life. The emperor catches wind of its power and orders the bunny to paint for him. A morality tale about the pitfalls of greed ensues.

But in our opinion the real magic is that the app doesn’t forsake story in the name of interaction or game. Instead, finger-painting tricks reveal content (a la invisible ink books), moving the story forward; little readers collect hidden inkpots to be used in a create-your-own artwork feature to explore when story time is done.

We give the app hipster bonus points, thanks to narration and music by members of The National.

It’s all taught us an important lesson: You can’t judge a book by its cover — especially if it doesn’t have one.

Available at itunes.com, $3.