Mom Creates Interactive Storybook App for Tweens

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A mom of two has created Story Bayou, a series of interactive book apps to engage kids 8-12 in reading using the gadgets they love.

Story Bayou, www.storybayou.com, is an interactive series of storybook apps for tweens ages 8-12.

Mom Julie Landry Laviolette founded Story Bayou to get kids into reading on smartphones and tablets

“Parents can hand their smartphone to their child and get them to read instead of playing another video game.”

Julie Landry Laviolette, a mom and longtime journalist, has created Story Bayou, a series of interactive storybook apps that kids can read on the iPad, iPod touch, Kindle Fire, smartphones and tablets.

Story Bayou (a play on “Story By You”) engages elementary- and middle-school age children in a literary journey by putting them in the driver’s seat and casting them as the main character.

The book apps, written in second person, "your" voice, allow kids to choose how the action unfolds during critical points in the plot. Reach an ending, go back, make new choices and explore a different path..

“Parents can hand their smartphone to their child and get them to read instead of playing another video game," said Laviolette, mom of a 9- and 11-year-old. “As a mom, I look for tools that will help my kids become lifelong readers. It makes sense to harness the technology they love and offer books in a format they are comfortable using.”

Story Bayou’s first book app, Brush of Truth, is geared to third- through sixth-graders. It introduces a medieval sorceror’s magic paintbrush that’s discovered in modern time by two tweens. With 65 decision points and 20 possible endings, Brush of Truth leads the kids on adventures under the sea, in floating graveyards and inside sand castles, among others, as they discover the brush’s powers.

Brush of Truth is $1.99 and available in the iTunes, Android, Windows 7 and Amazon app marketplaces.

Story Bayou partnered with Linxter, Inc., a software development company in Cooper City, Fl., to create the mobile app.

Laviolette is a former columnist and community news editor for The Times-Picayune newspaper in New Orleans. As a South Florida resident, she now contributes regularly to The Miami Herald, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, MomsMiami.com, South Florida Parenting and more than 30 regional parenting publications in the United States and Canada. Brush of Truth is her first work of fiction.

Story Bayou was founded in August 2011. It's first app, Brush of Truth, was released in February 2012.

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