Developer: Oceanhouse Media
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad 3

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Storytelling/Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Intuitiveness Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Trick or Treat – Little Critter is an enjoyable and relatable title from the Little Critter series of published books now adapted into storybook applications by Oceanhouse Media. This story is a simple, charming tale of Little Critter, his family, and their preparations for Halloween such as buying costumes and candy or like when the Little Critter’s dad chooses a mask too scary for baby brother, quickly switching to something more silly than upsetting. The family visits a farm, takes a hay ride, and the kids have to draw straws to decide who gets to take home the “perfect” pumpkin. Later, little sister Critter does not want dad to “hurt” her pumpkin with the carving knife, so a face is drawn on the pumpkin instead. Kids will enjoy reading about how Little Critter attends his class Halloween party, and I especially enjoy how Little Critter meets another boy while trick-or-treating who is wearing the same costume as he is, illustrated with a wonderful facial expression that made me smile.

3Although I often praise these Little Critter books on how human these characters are, never being painted as saints, I could have done without Little Critter expressing how he thinks his sister’s pumpkin with the marker face is “dumb” – certainly not behavior I want emulated. I was also surprised with how the family waited until dark to start going around the neighborhood with their young children, but I do appreciate that after Little Critter discovers a hole in his candy bag and losing most of his loot his sister is happy to share her haul with him. The images seen are bright and fun, although possibly without the same attention to detail as some of the older Little Critter titles have – notes a parent may make but which are of little concern to the children enjoying this story.

1These titles, as well as those from their Dr. Seuss series and other apps of theirs have a listening mode that includes professional narration, with each word being highlighted when read as well as being able to tap any word or paragraph to be heard when reading these apps by oneself. As my son is now five and a half, I take note of this function even more as this level of early reader story is perfect for his abilities and I really appreciate that he can both follow along with the highlighted text or read this book to himself with the included help when he feels stuck. Also nice is the word/picture association seen when a word is tapped, as well as the simple hidden picture game – there is a mouse is hidden throughout these pages as is typical for Little Critter Titles. All in all, this is a very nice title for children to read about Halloween. I plan to show this app to my son as I am sure other children will be wearing the same iconic superhero costume that he will be wearing around town.

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