Whoosh Into the World of Room on the Broom

Room on the Broom menu screen
The Room on the Broom app uses the fabulous illustrations from the book.
© Magic Light Pictures

Is there room on the broom for an app like this?

With Halloween approaching, I have been pulling out books to read to my daughter which fit the season. We’ve enjoyed Neil Gaiman and Gris Grimly’s Dangerous Alphabet, Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul’s Winnie the Witch, and of course, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s Room on the Broom. We love the fantastic rhyming tale of the rather clumsy witch, battling against the elements and a hungry dragon to keep hold of her belongings and her familiars. The book has already been translated into a film and stage version, but would it work well as an app?

The app makes great use of Alex Scheffler’s illustrations, meaning that it really feels like the book has come alive. Rather than an interactive version of the book, instead the app extends the book with a series of eight games designed to develop memory and observation skills. There is the opportunity to earn bronze, silver, and gold medals for meeting challenges in each game, which I thought was a nice touch as this ramps up the difficulty very gradually, making things more accessible for children at the younger end of the suggested 3-7 age range. Some of the games are simple point and click challenges where children have to find a hidden object from the story, such as the witch’s hat or wand. Other games are more challenging, such as the game where children have to spot the correct letters and steer the magnificent broom over them to create words from the story. My daughter’s favorite game involves setting out stars into patterns that are then joined by the witch on her broomstick. The stars can be moved around to create all sorts of patterns and pictures. I thought that this could be an interesting game to use from a more educational and problem solving angle, as children could use the stars to draw letters or numbers such as this “m for mummy” which my daughter created.

Drawing with stars
My daughter created an M using the drawing with stars game.
Screenshot: Helen Barker

As well as the unmistakable illustrations, the app also uses music from the film version to add to the atmosphere. It’s been really nicely done and captures the mood of the book really well. There’s lots here to keep children interested and coming back for more, making the £2.99/$4.99 price good value. My daughter loved playing with the app and it is already one of her favorites. I think this app will keep her attention long past Halloween.

The Room on the Broom app is available for £2.99 from the iTunes App Store or Google Play and Amazon stores for Android. You can visit the Room on the Broom website for more information, including links to purchase the app as well as hints for the games.

GeekMom received this item for review purposes.

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