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A New Pet

January 21, 2011

By: Carisa Kluver

The Digital Media Diet

A New Pet is about a dog named Spike.  His owners suddenly come home with a new 'pet' one day. He notices the changes in his owners, like how they only pay attention to the new pet, even though all it does is cry. This new pet is a baby, of course.  And as the story progresses, we see Spike realize he could never hurt the new pet and then discover that he actually likes her. As the baby grows into a little girl, Spike comes to love her and even shares his secret hiding places in the rose bed for burying bones.

The illustrations are hand drawn and the way Spike is depicted is really expressive, almost as if you can see his shock at this new pet who is clearly less fun than he is, yet getting all the attention. My favorite page shows Spike, looking rather self-satisfied, as he imagines burying the new pet with his bones in the rose garden. The picture shows a proud Spike, next to a buried little bonnet peeking out with several unearthed bones. It's a hysterical little scene that made my son & I both laugh out loud.

The sound effects are really nice on each page, although I didn't fully appreciate this fact until I turned the narration off. The book also has an interesting feature that allows you to double tap to have the text disappear or re-appear, so you can enjoy the story narrated without having the text in the way of the illustrations.

The only real interactivity is tapping the dog or the baby to hear a bark or cry, respectively. One scene does have the baby's cries show up visually as exclamation marks (upside down) that increase in number and size as the volume goes up. There are also a few scenes where slow animations happen, like the baby's eyes binking open and closed in a look of extra surprise. 

There is nothing wrong with the book's animation; in fact, it's in all the right places (tail wagging, eyes blinking). This serves to enhance, not overwhelm the story. I just wouldn't say it's an 'animated' title, even though it has some small animated elements.  This is instead a modern twist on an otherwise traditional children's book with appeal for young and old. It has been a favorite of ours for many months!

[English/Greek]

All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.

 







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A New Pet

January 21, 2011

By: Carisa Kluver

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Author/Illustrator:
Rena Rossi-Zairi

Developer:
Psichogios Publications

Length (time):
6 - 8 Minutes

Based on non-digital book: Yes

Allows Own Narration:
No

Uses Motion: No

Age: 3 - 8 +

Languages:
English •

Length (pages):
19 Pages

 

Story Synopsis - A New Pet

The new pet (in Greek & English) is a cute book about a dog named Spike and his reaction to the 'new pet' his owners bring home one day.  At first Spike imagines that he can bark to get his owners attention.  Afterall, the new pet seems rather boring and noisy to Spike.  When barking doesn't work, he then tries to get taken on a walk, but it is only a few steps outside the house before he is brought right back in.  Then he sulks and tries to imagine hurting the new pet.   But he knows he could never hurt it.  He even stops eating, but no one notices.  So finally he decides to go ahead and meet the 'new pet' eye-to-eye.  To his surprise, she smiles at him and bats her lashes.  It's a baby!  He is instantly in love.  Eventually the 'pet' grows up and he becomes best friends with the new pet, happily buring bones with her in the last scene.

 

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Orientation: Landscape

Format: Universal

Options:

Narration on/off, Language (Greek or English), Text on/off (double click to change)

App Release Date:
2010-10-01

 






Size: 53.84 MB

Version: 1.1.0

Lite Version Available: No

 

 

A New Pet

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