Monday, 27 August 2012

Henry! you're late AGAIN! Review

Henry! you're late AGAIN! Is a  universal interactive storybook app from Zebra Minds which represents an abridged version of the printed book written by Mary Bleckwehl and illustrated by Brian Barber. It will capture the imagination of any school going child.  The app is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.Requires iOS 3.2 or later

Henry! you're late AGAIN! tells us the story of a young boy who is constantly late for school. Although it is not always his fault.  As we see in the story his Dad sleeping in and his sister Isabela not being able to find her polka-dotted socks  are just some of the reasons that Henry is constantly late for school.

The constant late arrivals at school have made Henry perceive the school in a some what distorted manner. He imagines the school secretary as someone who lives in the school and never leaves, but lies in wait to catch out children who are late. He can't even view the secretary as a real person who has feet and socks, but rather an overbearing figure who has a wooden desk instead of legs.

The story is one that a lot of school going children can relate to. Most of us have for one reason or another been late for school on occasions. We all know that dreaded sense of fear and the late slip being given out and the path up to the school door looming down on us as we begin the walk of fate to the school office.

The developer has added a nice moral touch to the story. This area in particular struck a cord with me as it is one that we see on a regular basis with our own children with special needs. The word patient is used in a school announcement that Henry is asked to make and leads to Henry asking for an explanation of the word. The definition of the word given by the secretary is one that can be used time and time again to explain patience to children with special needs. "Henry, sometimes you have to wait for others. You don't like being late, but getting mad doesn't help your problem. Being patient makes it easier to make it a happy day even when you're late. " Patience is a big issue with many children from all walks of life. I myself find it hard to explain this to my own son and seeing it used in the app made him stop and think for a minute. It opened up the opportunity to look at other areas where being patient is important.

The narration features of the app are excellent. The developer has provided two choices, the voice of Henry himself or the voice of Mary, the author. Personally I preferred the voice over of Henry.  There is also an option to switch off the narration if you prefer. The illustrations in the app are incredible. My son loved looking for the hidden interactive features on each page. It is easy to navigate through the app by touching the arrows at the bottom two corners of the page or by swiping from side to side across the screen with your finger. There is also an auto play feature which you can enable if you prefer.

Overall I found this app to be a great way of teaching day to day events in a fun and realistic manner. From the very beginning you find yourself being drawn into the story and will catch yourself thinking 'oh yes I remember that happening to me at school '. It is a great buy and is not overpriced which is a huge bonus.

If you would like to buy the app now please do by clicking on this link iTunes. It is currently priced at $0.99c in the US iTunes store.

To find out more about ZebraMinds and their apps please visit their Facebook page or their website for more information.

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