Developer: Loud Crow Interactive
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 2.4
App Reviewed on: iPad 3

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Storytelling/Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Intuitiveness Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Now that Christmas is near I want to let readers know that Oceanhouse Media has released Merry Christmas Mom and Dad – Little Critter, an adaptation of the Mercer Mayer book of the same name. I do love these titles, now developed into storybooks with optional narration, highlighted text, and word/picture associations triggered when the screen is tapped. I am forever impressed with Mercer Mayer’s ability to capture the essence of a child who wants to be helpful but who can cause more harm than good as here, Little Critter does his best to help his family celebrate Christmas, yet gets himself mixed up in minor comedic incidents that parents may appreciate more than their children will.

3Things just seem to happen to Little Critter, such as when he wants to help decorate Christmas cookies but can’t stop tasting them, getting tangled up in the tape while wanting to wrap his baby sibling’s present, or breaking a collection of ball ornaments by carrying the box upside down – all accidents I can see being performed by a preschool-aged child. As is the case with other Mayer titles, the facial expressions of the sometimes emotional Little Critter and his understanding parents are grand, and I have always appreciated the professional narration of a child speaking in first person for Little Critter as well.

Early readers will appreciate the large font, minimal words on each page, and the ability to ask for help with the tap of any word found within – even while reading to oneself. Also nice is the ability to search for the hidden grasshopper and spiders found throughout – common details within Mayer’s books. Little Critter is perfectly imperfect as is my boy, and I am glad that a new generation of children will be able to get to know Little Critter and his family through these Oceanhouse Media apps.

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