Henrietta is Hungry
Review, Appy Chat & Giveaway
Developer: PicPocket Books
Henrietta is a daring and adventurous little cook who loves to try new foods. Join Henrietta as she sails the world searching for a scrumptious, stupendous dish. . . Will she find the perfect dish she’s looking for? Her discoveries may surprise you! A delicious and delightful food adventure.
by Admin Sarah DeBellis (With Guest Reviewers O aged 9 and GC aged 6)
This beautiful story is written by Nina Lim and illustrated by Terence Gomez. Henrietta is a girl with an educated and adventurous palate. She loves to try all kinds of foods from many different countries, but after a while, Henrietta feels she has tasted just about everything and longs for something different. She travels the world, making new friends, trying new cuisine with different tastes and textures. Lots of different adjectives are used to describe the foods: hot, salty, spicy, scrumptious etc, and we are introduced to foods from many different nations, none of which satisfy Henrietta’s quest. Finally our heroine discovers that home-cooked comfort food is the best food for her, and she shares it with her friends. You’ll even find the recipe at the end of the book. Henrietta then invites her friends from around the world to come with their dishes to share.
My young guest reviewers, GC and O, had a couple of interesting comments to make. GC thought the illustrations were good, and he particularly liked seeing Henrietta’s face go red as she tried a very spicy dish. Both O and GC found the narration “a little annoying” because of the accent. I can see what they mean, as the accent is a strong US English accent, and some of the words such as carrots and tomatoes were pronounced differently. Australians tend to prefer our own accent or a British English accent, and O thinks it would be good if there were a variety of accents to choose from. If that cannot be, both GC and O say they “can live” with the accent. Overall, I’d say the accent will be a minor issue for most, as the voice is clear, expressive, and easily understood.
The latest update to the iPad version includes some curriculum materials designed to help educators use the book to assist with a range of literacy activities. Teachers and other educators will find these activities useful for assisting children with reading comprehension, and also for learning about other language concepts, including alliteration, homonyms, grammatical elements, illustration and more. US schools will find a list of Common Core Standards addressed by these activities at the end of the curriculum section.
- Easy navigation – swipe pages to move through the story.
- Audio can be turned off
- Text is highlighted as spoken. This feature is supportive of emergent readers who are reading along with the narration.
- Beautiful illustrations by Terence Gomez
- Clear and expressive narration by Allison Cohen
I’d love to see an option to replay narration on each page. It would also be useful for children to hear words spoken aloud as they are tapped. Finally, I’d love to see the highlighting of words as they are spoken extended to the second part of the story. Children with a hearing impairment, or those reading the story in noisy environments, may have difficulty hearing the answers in the Fun Color Quiz, so it would be great to see the answers also available in text and/or illustration.
Henrietta is a fabulous story about someone who is not afraid to try new and different things, so I can see it as a great resource for children who have difficulties trying something new. The international adventures are a great discussion point for children learning about different countries and cultures. The Junior Masterchefs in your homes will be inspired. In addition to those great learning points, it is simply a fun and entertaining story, and your children will love it.
Why did you decide to develop this app?
I was inspired to create a story app about a fun loving and adventurous little cook by my children who all love to cook. I noticed how popular shows like Masterchef and Junior Masterchef were in Australia, and how everyone loved to comment on food, discuss food, and of course, eat great food!
What is your favourite page in the app?
I have fallen in love over and over again with Terence’s illustrations. But if pressed, there are three stand out pages for me. The first is the scene where Henrietta sails off in her boat. She is so excited and bold and brave, and full of adventure. The second is the scene where Henrietta sails home. There is something about this picture that always pulls at my heartstrings. When you see it you will know what I mean. And lastly, I love the scene where all of Henrietta’s friends arrive, each one carrying a different dish from around the world.
What is your favourite feature?
I love the international flavour of the story. Henrietta sails around the world sampling and trying new and exotic dishes. It also shows how food is a great leveler and is one thing that all cultures share in common. Everyone enjoys good food. It is also very positive and inclusive. Henrietta has friends from all around the world.
How long did it take you to develop this app?
I first wrote the story for Henrietta about 3 years ago. I would come back to it from time to time and rework bits of it. Finally it reached a stage where I was completely happy with it. I then worked with a wonderful artist to bring Henrietta to life, and it was published by PicPocket books, who also published my first storybook app Super Harry.
What age range would this app most suit?
This app is suitable for preschoolers to beginning readers. There is word highlighting and audio recording to help emerging readers connect the written words to the spoken words.
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