Hairy Maclary is a cute terrier mutt who stars in a series of popular books by New Zealand author, Lynley Dodd. This title is the first in the series, published in print in 1983. The story is told in rhyming verse and has a very simple plot, about Hairy Maclary and his doggie friends on a 'trot' around town. While the story is simple, the combination of expressive words, delightful illustrations and polished narration in this app edition, nears digital perfection.
Light animation makes the animals come to life, along with a tiny bit of interactivity in the form of sound effects, mostly barking. The enhancements are fun, but simple enough to make this a great bedtime title. The digital versions of the Hairy Maclary series are developed using QBook™, a digital picture book format designed by Kiwa Media. I have reviewed other books using this format, and it guarantees a well-made book reading experience.
It has easy page turning and two wonderful features for young readers, Touch-to-Hear and Touch-to-Spell. Not only are the words highlighted as the book is narrated, but a young reader can also tap on any word to hear it spoken and double tap to hear the word spelled. Most QBooks have a 'coloring' book feature, too. Each page becomes a line drawing that kids can color and you can even save your coloring pages into the book app to personalize it. If your child likes iPad coloring pages, these books are a great choice since they double as a packed coloring app. This title also includes the ability to record your own narration and a version of the story told in AUSLAN sign-language.
Overall, this is a wonderful book and a must-download for any digital library. It is a classic story, engaging and enjoyable for both kids and their parents, with lots of great details in the illustrations that dog lovers, in particular, will appreciate. The educational enhancements are also superb, making this an app perfect for young readers or even pre-readers. Recommended!
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Lynley Dodd/David Tennant (narration)
KIWA International Ltd
4 - 6 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: Yes
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 3 - 8
Hairy Maclary is a dog living on Donaldson's Dairy who goes about town collecting his doggie friends, including:
Hercules Morse (as big as a horse)
Bottomley Potts (covered in spots)
Muffin McLay (like a bundle of hay)
Bitzer Maloney (all skinny and bony)
Schnitzel von Krumm (with a very low tum)
The six pups all trot down the street, past shops and more in town. And then they see Scarface Claw, a tough & scary tomcat who scares the whole pack of dogs back down the street. Hairy Maclary goes straight back home to bed and hides.
About the Hairy Maclary series (from Wikipedia):
"Hairy Maclary is a fictional dog, the hero of a series of children's picture books created by the New Zealand author Lynley Dodd, and making his first appearance in 1983 with the publication of Hairy Maclary From Donaldson’s Dairy. Hairy Maclary is the protagonist of twelve books in the series, and a further nine are about his friends. The series has sold over five million copies worldwide. His adventures are usually in the company of his other animal friends who include the dachshund Schnitzel von Krumm, dalmatian Bottomley Potts and Old English sheepdog Muffin McClay. The tomcat, Scarface Claw is their formidable opponent. Lynley Dodd has not stated what breed of dog Hairy Maclary is, but he has characteristics of a small terrier, and is possibly cross-bred."