Friday, November 29, 2013

Review: Meet Heckerty - a book app that introduces integrity and inclusiveness


Purpose of App: Book app which helps strengthen vocabulary and introduces values such as integrity and inclusiveness.

Strengths: Shows the importance of following directions precisely. Can click on any word to have it read.

Weaknesses: Uses some bigger words, but does not offer glossary or definitions. States that it helps with inclusiveness, caring and integrity, but falls short.

Suggested Audience: Children 3-8

Star Rating Breakdown

Overall Rating 2.5
Meets Intended Goal: 1
Entertainment: 3
Worth the Price: 4
Ease of Use: 4
Educational Value: 2
Level of Customization: 2

If you would like to download Meet Heckerty (Free, iPad/iPhone), please support Smart Apps for Special Needs by using our link:

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Links to Heckerty blog, facebook, twitter


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My kids and I love books and are avid readers. My favorite are stories which have a moral component. When I found the Meet Heckerty book, I was excited to try it out after reading the description. Although it's a cute book with excellent narration, I wasn't overly impressed.

This is a fun story about a witch who wants to look prettier. She attempts to cast a spell but can't find her spell book, so she wings it. By not following the directions, she turns her face green. She gets upset and says she now doesn't want to look in a mirror. Then, she asks the reader if they think they could be friends.

This book is a great example of having consequences for bad choices. Heckerty knew that she should read the directions but lost her spell book and chose not to look for it. In making the choice to not find the directions, she made her problem worse. This is an important lesson for kids to learn.

It is a little light on helping kids "discover important life values -- caring, inclusiveness, loyalty and integrity," as stated in the description. Maybe if she met a friend after the spell went wrong and explained what happened and the friend accepted her, kids would get a better demonstration of those values. I felt the story just needed a few more pages to really solidify the purpose.

As far as learning vocabulary, it is an easy to read children's book. There is nothing stand out about the vocabulary or teaching what the words meant. Like many book apps, if a user clicks on a word, the narrator re-reads it. Perhaps, on the more complicated words like "cauldron" or "tadpoles" when the user double clicks on it, they could hear a short definition. Even a glossary at the end could be beneficial for children to learn what the higher level words mean.

For a free book, it's worth a shot. If you are looking for a book about acceptance for being different or to help a child expand their vocabulary, it's a good introductio,n but not quite there.

From iTunes:

Do you think learning can be funny? Would you like to laugh while you learn English? Meet our award-winning friend Heckerty — a 409 year old green-faced witch, hilarious and with a heart of gold.


An Editor’s Choice by Children’s Technology Review, a Mashable Kids Pick and proclaimed a “must have” by The Unofficial Apple Weblog, “Meet Heckerty” delivers. The superb narration and interactive animations are ideal for children 3-8 years old, as well as anyone learning English.

Kind and gentle, Heckerty learns every day from her own silly mistakes. And as kids laugh their way through her zany adventures and their magical interactive animations, they discover important life values — caring, inclusiveness, loyalty and integrity.

Everyone loves Heckerty and as you watch your child improve their reading and vocabulary while laughing with Heckerty, you will, too!

So download “Meet Heckerty” now and discover just how magical a child’s story can be!

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• Editor's Choice, Mashable Kids Pick and named a “must have” by TUAW. Rated 5 stars by users & reviewers and a Shorty Award 2013 finalist for best app.
• Superb narration by famous BBC broadcaster; created by one of England’s most acclaimed storytellers, all in beautiful gentle English storytelling style
• Ideal for kids and adults to improve English reading & vocabulary — to be read out loud or as a bedtime story. Perfect for ESL (English as a second language) and children on the autism spectrum.
• Rich, entertaining interactive animations and graphics. Kids enjoy the storytelling, learning words and spelling as they play, and discovering values like diversity, inclusiveness and caring at the same time.
• Designed for children alone or with an adult (choose between the "Read to me" and "Read by myself" options).
•  Advertising-free.

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Rachel H. thinks she may resemble Heckerty a little bit before she has her coffee in the morning.

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