“Paper Dolls Gone Wild”
As a kid, I loved making up stories, but I couldn't draw to save my life. Story Maker would have made a big difference. Story Maker is essentially a paper-doll publishing house. You create characters by choosing hair-style, face, clothes and accessories; and giving your character a name. Then you build a story with characters, backgrounds, and text. Save the page and it's ready to print out and add to your new book (warning: do not give your kids printer privileges from the iPad unless you own an ink jet cartridge factory). The illustrations are silly and appealing, and my six year-old daughter immediately got the concept of putting together a book using these pages. It did take us a few tries to understand that the app is organized around creating single pages, and not an entire book. The app is free and comes with a selection of costumes, accessories and backgrounds. A creative story teller could probably spin endless tales from the basic package but, for $0.99, you can buy expansion packs with famous story themes (Cinderella, Three Little Pigs, etc.) that give you access to a much broader range of costumes and backgrounds. StoryMaker does require parental collaboration, not only for the printing, but also for the typing of the story text.
Eventually, your child is going to want to make a story that requires visual elements not available in StoryMaker. This is the perfect moment to break out the crayons, scissors and construction paper to get into making more traditional books.