Hanna and Henri are two sweet friends from developer Tales & Dice AB who are back for their second adventure together. This time they are helping Hanna's scientific aunt build a robot. What does the robot do? What is he for? Well, you'll have to download the app to find out because you know I don't believe in spoilers.
From the main screen you are able to manipulate a handful of settings related to the app, like text size and sound. Your kiddo can choose "begin the story" to read the story in full, or press the button at the top of the screen to select a particular chapter from the story.
The story itself is pleasantly narrated and exquisite language is used throughout. Features on each page are cause-and-effect interactive, in that they are pressed and simple animations appear. There are additional components, too, that require action from your little reader for the story to move on. For instance, your kiddo must select the clothes Hanna wears for the day, the pieces of the robot, or cleaning up spilled fruit. I'm a big fan of this feature as it encourages engagement from the app user and becomes a part of the story rather than just extra "fluff."
The graphics in this story are sweetly drawn and while clearly cartoon-esque, still true to life. Sound adds to the story but, as with any good app, the sound can be controlled from the settings page, which is accessable from any point in the story (settings cannot be accessed, however, during activities). The main characters in the story are relatable to younger readers and help tie all the pieces of the tale together.
The story itself is the right length and interest level for a reader between the ages of six and eight, but the short activities that keep the story moving along are geared for a much younger population. Tasks like sorting fruit by color and dressing a character seem to be somewhat below the general skill level of the intended audience. This factor, combined with story length, could shorten the time a young reader spends with this app. From a technical standpoint, I'd also love to see the loading screen between each chapter disappear.
Some basic literacy features could be added to aid in encouraging reading skills — things like highlighted text and words read aloud when they are individually pressed. All in all, Hanna and Henri — The Robot has the makings of a good book app. It tells a simple and somewhat creative story and has some great interactive features that help the story progress. Additional tweaks and improvements would only make this app better for a wider audience of eager readers.
Bottom Line: A sweet tale of two friends who team up to create a robot. Interactive features help move the story along, but tweaks and improvements could help move the app from good to great.
This app has been thoroughly evaluated by our staff. Please click on the 'star ratings' tab above, to see how it fared in all nine of our rating categories. See synopsis tab for more details about the storyline.
This guest review was originally published by SmartAppsforKids.com on September 22, 2014. The author of this review is Rachel J. who likes cinnamon grahm crackers the best. Smartappsforkids.com was paid a priority-review fee for this review at the time of its original publication.
SmartAppsforKids is one of the top review sites for kids educational apps, games and books. They strive for meticulousness and honesty in their reviews, both positive and negative. Their goal is to be the most complete source for parents and educators looking for reliable info on an app before making a purchase.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Fredrik Sjölin/Christer Degerman
Tales & Dice AB
12 - 15 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 5 - 8 +
Build a robot with Hanna & Henri! Let your kid take part in this adventure where Hanna & Henri goes to Hanna's aunt to build a robot. Along the way they get to do educational things like sorting fruit and to choose correct colors.
Build the robot in many different ways from everyday objects. Your kid's creativity will be engaged and decides what the robot should look like. See the robot come to life!
The tale alternates between interactive moments and games, and is presented with a narrator and subtitles.
The app itself is free from commercials and does not link to external content. There is nothing to buy in this app.
Within the app you can choose English and Swedish as language. You can choose to have the narrative voice active or turned off. If its turned off, text will be displayed and you can read it as a regular book.
Hanna & Henri is created for preschool children.