"Monkey is Coming! Can you open the door?" begins this unique storytelling app by talented author/illustrator Chris Haughton. Developed into an app by Fox & Sheep, this title includes the first few sample pages of Haughton's print publications, including A Bit Lost, Oh No, George! and SHH! We have a plan. The main attraction in the app, however, is Haughton's exceptional storytelling in a new, digital environment.
After tapping the screen (with just the quote above), an image appears of a door and a window. Periodically a little figure knocks on the door and window, prompting youngsters to let the little monkey with a tassled ski cap into the room by touching the doornob. Once in the room, tapping on "hat monkey" elicits waves, expressions of love and even a little dance number. There is no text or language expressed, giving readers a chance to create their own narrative.
Each page follows this same formula, beginning with a question, like "Monkey is hiding. Can you find him?" or even "Can you send Monkey a text?" But no worries, the text is not real, just a selection of emoji's, however the app gives young children the experience of acting 'as if' in lots of different scenarios where they get to direct the hat monkey's actions. Nine scenes in all give this app lots of replay value.
This app could be used with children as young as toddlers or preschoolers (with an adult to engage in conversation) or with older kids exploring on their own or with peers. Kids over age 8 may be engaged with this app, however it is short in duration when played by children on their own. The real richness of an app like this is embedded in the shared experience of a caregiver and young child.
Apps like this are also great for eliciting 'expressive' language and storytelling from children. Simply play with the app with a child and talk about what you see, hear, feel and think as you are exploring together. For kids with articulation issues and other speech delays, an app like this can be invaluable. And with Hat Monkey, you will both find the experience noteworthy!
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.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Fox and Sheep GmbH
6 - 8 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 2 - 6 +
English • French • Spanish •German •Italian •Japanese •Dutch •
Hat Monkey is a small monkey with a hat who needs our help around the house. Young children will find the objectives satisfying as they help Monkey do everyday things they cannot yet do themselves, like turning off lights, opening the door for him, turning the pages of his bedtime book or sending text messages. They can also speak with him on the phone, and play music or simple games like hide and seek. The beautiful simplified graphics and interactions allow even the youngest children to identify what Monkey wants, to empathise with him, and learn how they can help him.
Chris Haughton’s award-winning books ‘A Bit Lost’, ‘Oh No, George!’ and ‘SHH!, we have a plan’ have been translated into over 20 languages around the world. Instead of adapting his books, Hat Monkey was conceived and designed from the start as a stand alone app with engaging interaction at its core. [Source: iTunes]