The Little Witch at School is a universal book app from French developer Slim Cricket. It is an prequel to their acclaimed book app The Witch With No Name. In this adventure the Little Witch is still at school and we learn how she lost her name. The app includes an interactive story that can be enjoyed in “read to me” or “read by myself” modes, it can be enjoyed in English or French. There are six games interspersed within the story. There are no adverts or in-app purchases, external links (to Slim Crickets other apps) are behind a parental gate. There is a page navigation guide, so the child can easily return to a favorite page.
The Little Witch is a pupil at the Chickenwich Elementary School, she and her classmates are preparing to take their first witchery and wizardry examination. The Little Witch’s best friend is Peepo the elf, who wants to be a wizard, but really isn’t very good at wizardry and is a bit of a scaredy-cat. The Little Witch is very kind to Peepo and tries her best to help him, even though some of their other classmates are quite mean to them both. For their final examination the student witches and wizards have to complete a challenge, facing amongst other things an artistic spider, a trip into the well of knowledge, a trip into an ogre’s stomach and questions from a talking tree. When they have completed all the steps they have the ingredients they need to cast a magic spell to turn their stuffed animals into the heart of their spell books. Will the Little Witch and Peepo pass all the challenges ? Will their spells work ? How does the Little Witch lose her name ? You’ll have to read the story to find out.
As the child progresses through the story each page has interactive elements (marked by blue dots), and there are six mini-games to play including a color by numbers picture, a letter matching game to find the magic words, a pattern matching game to find their way through the ogre’s stomach, finding hidden crickets throughout the app and answering the magic tree’s questions. There is a choice of three different difficulty levels for the games, so you can set this to suit your child’s level. The app also has a “surprise” that is unlocked when the child has completed a series of challenges. I like that the challenges can be changed to suit different age groups – for instance in the easy setting the paint by numbers just needs number matching, but in the harder levels the child has to answer addition or even multiplication questions.
The graphics in the app are wonderful – bright, colorful, detailed, animated illustrations that utilize a gyroscope effect to create a 3-D feel. There are a lot of fun interactive elements too, although I would like an option to have these not work until after the narration has finished on each page. In the “read to me” version the script scrolls paragraph by paragraph as the characters speak, and each character’s dialog is highlighted in a different color. At first I thought it wasn’t highlighted as it is read – but on closer inspection it is highlighted by the paragraph – the different colors just make this less obvious. As well as being a fun halloween app, this story can be enjoyed year around, it’s central theme is the friendship between the Little Witch and Peepo but it can also a good opportunity to talk about bullying as the other students Ghostico and Eagera can be quite mean at times.
My six-year-old twins love the original story The Witch With No Name, and were very excited to discover this app on our family iPad. They both gave it an enthusiastic thumbs up and have been going back to re-listen to the story during their iPad free playtime.
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 review was originally published by TheiMums.com on October 25, 2013. The iMums – Amanda, Alison, Mary and Grace – are four mothers from different parts of the world dedicated to educating parents about the best digital stories, educational apps, fun games and technology products available for their children. Founded in August 2011, the four iMums have 11 kids among them ranging in age from 1 to 17 and bring a global perspective to their app reviews. The original iMum Amanda being from Australia, Alison is in America, Grace is from Singapore and Mary is from the UK but is currently living in America.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
20 - 30 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: Yes
Age: 4 - 9
English • French •
This year, the pupils of Chickenwich Elementary School will be taking their first witchery and wizardry examination.
They’ve become older and it’s time for them to separate from their cuddly toys, which are going to become the souls of their books of magic and start a new life..
But the changes aren’t easy and many tests await them…
Will the little witch pass the exam ?
Will Peepo the elf stay her friend no matter what happens ?