All by Myself by Mercer Mayer was published in print in 1983. It is a beloved story about Little Critter as he tackles a challenge every young child must take on ... doing things for himself. He is able to get dressed in the morning and brush his fur, being independent all day long. He helps his parents with chores, and even watches his sister before putting on his pajamas at night and brushing his teeth, "all by myself." Little Critter may not always do things perfectly, but he does his best.
Many readers have asked, "What kind of animal is Little Critter?" According to Wikipedia, Mercer Mayer did not specify which type of animal Little Critter is, but "he resembles a hedgehog, hamster or guinea pig." So, basically he's a rodent ... although a rather lovable one! Over 200 books have been released in this popular series, not to mention a whole line of toys, dvds and other products.
This digital version adds a new twist, having the reader try to find all the little mice (19 in all) hidden on almost every page. When the child taps on a mouse, a chime sounds; at the end of the book, a page is displayed with the number of mice (of the total) successfully found. This little extra was a big hit with my kid and made re-reading a bit more fun. As a parent, I liked this interactivity because it rewarded my child for paying attention, although it did distract from the story on the first reading.
Like other omBooks by Oceanhouse Media, this app is interactive in a way that enhances early reading skills. Most images (of mom, sister, dad, Little Critter and many items in each scene), will name themselves aloud while the word briefly appears over the illustration. For example, touch a mouse and the word "mouse" appears and is spoken aloud by the narrator. If the word is also present in the text on that page, it highlights as spoken, providing nice auditory/visual word-reinforcement for young learners.
For early readers and pre-readers, the text also highlights as the narrator says each word. By the way, the young voice-actor is also easy to understand. I particularly liked the choice of child narration in the Little Critter book apps, since the story is told in the first-person. Overall, this is a cute book and a great read for children six and under. Recommended!
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Oceanhouse Media, Inc.
4 - 6 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: Yes
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 2 - 6 +
Little Critter can do all sorts of things 'all by himself' ... he can get out of bed, button his overalls, brush his fur and even put on his own socks. He may not get it all perfect (tying his shoes together, spilling his juice), but he makes every effort to do his best at all his daily tasks. He even helps his baby sister who can't do many things 'all by herself' yet.
While many of Little Critter's accomplishments fall short of the mark, like when he pours water on his teddy bear, 'to give him a drink,' this little critter is growing up. He is getting better and better at helping his parents, watching his little sister and solving problems, "all by myself". As the day ends, Little Critter can get his PJ's on himself, brush his teeth and even put himself to bed ... BUT he can't go to sleep without a story, of course.