Henri Le Worm -Learn and Play with his Amazing Cooking Adventures, is a British app with a French twist. Henri Le Worm is a chef and is based on real-life French celebrity chef Raymond Blanc. Raymond Blanc is very well known in Britain both for his Michelin starred restaurants and for starring in several cooking-related television shows. Henri was created by Raymond’s son Oliver Blanc and actress Charlotte Salt. It is an app designed for children ages 3-8 years old, which combines an interactive storybook with mini-games and also includes family- friendly recipes created by Raymond Blanc. Whilst they have fun playing, children can also learn about food and nature. The story is told by well-known British actor Simon Pegg, who brings the characters to life with different voices. There is word-highlighting as it is read, and it has sound effects and lively original background music. I like the music, but would like to see an option to switch off music and sound effects for those children who find it distracting. The app is child-safe with no adverts, in-app purchases or external links.
The story is set in the Forest of Plenty and is told by a slug named Sebastian. The reader begins by exploring an edible garden in the forest, and they can pick the vegetables and fruits growing there. Each time they pick a plant Sebastian tells them a fact about it or suggests ways of cooking it. The reader can also regrow the plant by watering the garden and “eat it” by tapping on it. Henri appears in the garden and if you tap on him you can follow him underground and help him dig down to his kitchen. It is the day before the annual Best Chef competition which Henri has won the last 8 years in a row. The reader can explore Henri’s kitchen and help him cook. On today’s menu are English Pancakes/crepes, and the reader can help Henri do all the steps in making them- sieving flour, cracking eggs, adding milk, whisking; cooking and flipping then adding toppings. Henri explains that the French call pancakes crepes, this may be a little confusing for American children as they are referring to English pancakes which are a little different than American pancakes, and are traditionally served with lemon juice instead of maple syrup.
Henri’s friends have come over for breakfast – they all introduce themselves – Derek the ladybird (ladybug), Sebastian the slug, Texas Lou the spider, and Tina the flea. The reader can serve them all breakfast of pancakes, orange juice and tea and help them eat in a mini-game reminiscent of Toca Tea Party. During breakfast we are introduced to Sheldon the snail, Lumpy the maggot and Minimota the mosquito. Lumpy is desperate to win the Best Chef competition himself and the trio hatch a dastardly plan to steal Henri’s cookbook ? Will their plan succeed? Who will win the competition? You’ll need to read the story to find out. In the process you will learn about lots of different fruits, vegetables, insects and bugs as well as have a few laughs along the way.
This app is very bright and colorful with engaging mini-games and fun larger than life characters, but as well as being fun it also aims to encourage children’s interest in healthy foods and teach them a little about nature. To further involve your family in healthy eating it also includes a selection of 10 healthy recipes for you to prepare with your child. Several of them, such as rainbow salad and raspberry fool, appear in the story. Each recipe highlights steps that the child can help with. My one disappointment with this section was that it didn’t include a recipe for French crepes with fruit topping, although this would be a very simple recipe for many British families to do without help, most American kids would not have had this style of pancake and it would tie in very well with the story.
Overall a fun and engaging app that combines a story with mini-games and real life recipes. Highly recommended, it may just inspire your children to try some new fruits or vegetables and to view some “creepy crawlies” in a new light.
NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.
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