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The New Baby

January 22, 2011

By: Carisa Kluver

The Digital Media Diet

What can a new baby do?!?

The New Baby by Mercer Mayer was published in print in 1980.  It is a beloved story about 'Little Critter' and his new baby sister. Little Critter is at first excited, thinking the baby will be interested in toys, books and games. Eventually he realizes that babies don't pay attention to those things. Instead his mom shows him that there are other things you can do with a baby ... things like rocking, cuddling, tickling and playing with a rattle.

Many readers have asked, "What kind of animal is Little Critter?" According to Wikipedia, Mercer Mayer did not specify which type of animal the 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.

For this short, but sweet story, reader reviews averaged 4.4 stars (from over 50 reviews at Amazon.com) for the print title. The digital version adds a new twist, having the reader try to find all the little mice (15 in all) hidden on almost every page.  This little extra was a big hit with my pre-schooler and made re-reading a bit more fun. As a parent, I liked this interactivity because it was relatively well integrated into the story and rewarded my child for paying attention.

Like the Seuss books (also by Oceanhouse Media), this book is interactive in a way that enhances early reading skills. Most images (of mom, baby, dad, Little Critter and many items in the house), will name themselves aloud while the word briefly appears over the illustration. For example, touch the ball in Little Critter's hand on the second page and the word "ball" appears and is spoken aloud by the narrator.

For young readers and pre-readers, the text also highlights as the narrator says each word.  The delightful child narrator is also easy to understand.  I particularly liked the child narration since the story is told in the first-person by Little Critter.  Overall this is a cute book and a great read for kids expecting a sibling.

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


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The New Baby

January 22, 2011

By: Carisa Kluver

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Mercer Mayer

Oceanhouse Media

Length (time):
6 - 8 Minutes

Based on non-digital book: Yes

Allows Own Narration:

Uses Motion: No

Age: 3 - 6 +

English •

Length (pages):
18 Pages


Story Synopsis - The New Baby

Little Critter gets a baby sister in this book. But the baby isn't quite what Little Critter expected. The baby doesn't pay attention when Little Critter reads to her. She cries when he makes silly faces. And she can't understand the jokes he tells.  Eventually Little Critter figures out that there is stuff you can do with a new baby, things like: cuddle them, make them laugh, etc. Little Critter learns this and becomes a very good brother.


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Orientation: Landscape & Portrait

Format: Universal


Autoplay, Read-it-myself, Read-to-me, News on/off, Sound on/off, Home, Links to: Web, AppStore, Facebook, Twitter

App Release Date:


Size: 11.4 MB

Version: 1.08.1

Lite Version Available: No



The New Baby

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