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Hairy Maclary, Scattercat

August 7, 2013

By: Carisa Kluver

The Digital Media Diet

A classic comes to life in this QBook!

Hairy Maclary is turning 30! This cute terrier mutt stars in a series of popular books by New Zealand author, Lynley Dodd. First published in 1983, the short, rhyming titles follow the antics of a quaint village, with everything revolving around the personalities of some very cute pets. Featuring repetition and simple sentences, these are great early readers, although the proper names of the animals are complex (e.g. Greywacke Jones, Pimpernel Pugh, Slinky Malinki).

Scattercat is about Hairy Maclary's feline nemesis, Scarface Claw. The story is told in rhyming verse as the a mischievious Hairy Maclary trots about town chasing all the town's cats. The tables are turned in a way that is satisfying, not scary, when the dog meets a cat willing to stand his ground. Light animation brings a little movement to the animals, but nothing too distracting from the story.

Interactivity is limited primarily to sound effects, mostly barking and meowing. 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. The only drawback, is that the images don't take advantage of the full iPad screen, which is a shame only because the illustrations are so lovely.

QBooks also have 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.

Overall, this is a delightful book with a classic story, engaging and enjoyable for both kids and their parents, with lots of great details in the illustrations that animal lovers, in particular, will appreciate. The educational enhancements are also superb, making this an app perfect for young readers or even pre-readers.


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.


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Hairy Maclary, Scattercat

August 7, 2013

By: Carisa Kluver

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Lynley Dodd/David Tennant (narration)

Penguin New Zealand Pty Ltd

Length (time):
4 - 6 Minutes

Based on non-digital book: Yes

Allows Own Narration:

Uses Motion: No

Age: 3 - 8

English •

Length (pages):
16 Pages


Story Synopsis - Hairy Maclary, Scattercat

From iTunes:

"Hairy Maclary felt bumptious and bustly, bossy and bouncy and frisky and hustly". Hairy Maclary, everyone's favourite dog, is busy chasing and hustling all the neighbourhood cats from Slinky Malinki to Pimpernel Pugh. But when he comes face to face with Scarface Claw, the toughest tomcat in town, it's Hairy Maclary's turn to be bustled, rustled and hustled!

Run your fingers over the text to hear the story and touch any word to hear and see it spoken and spelt. You can even colour in pages of the story and record your own voice. Hear the barking dogs and the ferocious yowl of Scarface Claw, all part of the interactive experience, giving children and parents’ hours of fun. This is not only a marvellous story, but a superb aid for early learning and literacy development.

It was thirty years ago that a small black dog stepped out of the imagination of author and illustrator Lynley Dodd and onto the pages of a picture book. This book, Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy, is now famous the world over and the 20 titles in the Hairy Maclary and friends series have now sold more than six million copies worldwide.


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Orientation: Landscape

Format: iPad


Home, Play, Page Guide, Paint, Record, Sign, Settings (personalize, background music, reset narration). Links to: AppStore, Facebook, G+, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Web

App Release Date:


Size: 50.05 MB

Version: 2.0.1

Lite Version Available: No



Hairy Maclary, Scattercat

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