boxcar children

Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny — better known as the Boxcar Children — have a new mystery to solve: augmented reality (AR).

Based on “The Boxcar Children” book series by Gertrude Chandler Warner, digital entertainment and technology company Living Popups has brought the classic stories to life with an innovative AR app: BoxCar AR. As kids read the chapters, the four orphaned siblings will pop up on the page, through the app, to help guide kids through the story and reading comprehension.

“This book series was a childhood favorite, and I’m elated that we are the team to bring AR to the BoxCar Children,” said Jamie Dixon, chief technology officer of Living Popups, in a statement. “Now, this heartwarming classic will inspire a new generation of children through the combination of the printed word and AR technology.”

The app’s animated, 3D images of the characters speak directly to readers and ask questions about the story to help engage kids and boost their learning comprehension. The app is compatible with most mobile devices. When users point their phones at the book, the app activates animated versions of the characters and learning tools. It’s available from iTunes and Google Play.

The first four books of the series are currently available at Costco, where purchase includes a specially priced promotion on the AR app. AR capabilities are currently available for the first book and will be expanding to the next three novels later this month.