Having to stop by the office and sign in late on the way into school—it’s a source of anxiety for every child. Fortunately for Henry there’s a happy resolution to his situation. (The lesson in this story is for parents.)
Title: Henry! You’re Late Again!
Author: Mary Evanson Bleckwehl
Illustrator: Brian Barber
Publisher: Beaver’s Pond Press
Developed by: ZebraMinds, Inc.
Platform: iOS, requires 3.2 or later
K–Gr 3-Through no fault of his own, Henry is always late for school. Whenever it happens, he must face the intimidating Miss Timberlane, the school secretary. One morning Henry arrives, late as usual, to find out it’s a professional development day for teachers and a day off for students. While waiting for his mother to pick him up, the boy discovers Miss Timberlane is not so fearsome. In fact, she offers Henry a chance to read the morning announcements over the loudspeaker the next day. When he expresses concern that he won’t make it in on time, Miss Timberlane suggests that she makes a wake-up call to his house—every morning.
Listeners can choose to have Henry or the author narrate the story. While both are well done, the audio has a distracting echo. Both the narration and the “Auto play” options can be switched off. Outside the “Auto play” mode, pages turn with a swipe or a touch to the arrows at the bottom of each screen. The cartoon-style illustrations depict a friendly Henry in colorful settings with unusual perspectives.
Users can manipulate small things on each page such as spinning Henry around in the principal’s chair or turning the hands on a clock. Sound effects, such as the creak of a door and the ring of a phone, are heard throughout the story. Since it’s unclear what will respond to touch on each page, users must do some hunting if they would like to find the interactive features, some of which work better within the framework of the story than others. This app is an abridgment of the original print version published by Beaver’s Pond Press.—Kari Allen, National Writing Project in New Hampshire, Plymouth State University