Our Overall rating: 4.25
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Five Little Monkeys Bake a Birthday Cake

January 23, 2012

By: Carisa Kluver

The Digital Media Diet

These monkey's do a fine job surprising Mama ...

I love this series by Eileen Christelow, but I always think, "Poor Mama!" Funny & full of fun plot twists plus a surprise ending, this title, published in print in the late 90's, has it all. The book was originally titled, "Don't Wake Mama!" which is fitting as the monkeys try to bake a cake and make Mama a present without waking her up. This book doesn't have the counting down rhythm that some of the other Five Monkeys titles have, but it is charming nonetheless.

From the beloved series by Eileen Christelow, this is an adorably illustrated ebook based on a print title published in 1996. In digital form, these books are transformed with sound, interactivity and text that highlights as it is read. Like the Seuss books (also by Oceanhouse Media), this book is interactive in a way that enhances early reading skills.

Most images (monkeys, baking items, plus actions like 'slips'), can be tapped to hear the words aloud while the word briefly appears over the illustration. For example, touch the sign on Mama's door and the word "sign" appears and is spoken aloud by the narrator. You can even 'count' the monkeys on nearly every page by tapping their heads in order from right to left.

The book is nicely narrated with monkey sounds in the background. It has easy swipe-style page turning and a nice array of settings, although the interactive elements have sound even with the 'sound' setting on 'off' so for silent reading time, mute the device. This is a great title for pre-readers, reading learners and children up to age 8 to read to themselves. 

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


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Five Little Monkeys Bake a Birthday Cake

January 23, 2012

By: Carisa Kluver

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Eileen Christelow

Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Length (time):
6 - 8 Minutes

Based on non-digital book: Yes

Allows Own Narration:

Uses Motion: No

Age: 3 - 8

English •

Length (pages):
32 Pages


Story Synopsis - Five Little Monkeys Bake a Birthday Cake

The 5 little monkeys wake up early and say, "Today is Mama's birthday!" and "Sh-h-h! Don't wake up Mama!" Instead they sneak downstairs to bake her a cake. They measure the ingredients, being careful not to wake their mother, repeating "Don't wake up Mama!" many times throughout the story.

Somehow Mama manages to sleep soundly right through all their activity. They spill oil and slip in the kitchen with a crash, bang hammer and nails trying to build her a present and even start a kitchen fire that brings firemen to the house. Of course the firemen simply suggest that the poor cake could be saved with a bit of frosting.

"Now we can wake up Mama!" declare the monkeys. But the real surprise isn't for Mama ... today isn't her birthday ... it's tomorrow!


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Orientation: Landscape

Format: Universal


Read to Me, Read Myself, AutoPlay, Sound On/Off, News On/Off, Links to: AppStore, Web, Facebook, Twitter, Email

App Release Date:


Size: 18.12 MB

Version: 1.0

Lite Version Available: No



Five Little Monkeys Bake a Birthday Cake

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