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The New Potty - Little Critter

May 2, 2012

By: Carisa Kluver

The Digital Media Diet

Little Critter's baby sister is ready for the potty!

The New Potty by Mercer Mayer was published in print in 1992 as part of the Golden Books "Little Sister" series (in collaboration with the author's 3rd wife, Gina). This title is the beloved story about Little Critter's baby sister getting her first potty chair and learning how to use it. At first she just wants to sit on it ... to watch tv & eat dinner ("that was weird" says Little Critter), but soon she's willing to try it out. After a few accidents, she gets better and better, making her family proud.

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

This digital version adds a new twist, having the reader try to find all the cute spiders (19 in all) and grasshoppers (19 in all) hidden on every page. When the child taps on one of the two bugs, a chime sounds; at the end of the book, a page is displayed with the number of bugs (of the total) successfully found. This little extra was a big hit with my kid and made re-reading a bit more fun. As a parent, I liked this interactivity because it rewarded my child for paying attention, although it did distract from the story on the first reading.

Like other omBooks by Oceanhouse Media, this app is interactive in a way that enhances early reading skills. Most images (of mom, sister, dad, Little Critter and many items in each scene), will name themselves aloud while the word briefly appears over the illustration. For example, touch the potty and the word "potty" appears and is spoken aloud by the narrator. If the word is also present in the text on that page, it highlights as spoken, providing nice auditory/visual word-reinforcement for young learners.

For early readers and pre-readers, the text also highlights as the narrator says each word. By the way, the young voice-actor is also easy to understand. I particularly liked the choice of child narration in the Little Critter book apps, since the story is told in the first-person. Overall, this is a great title for young children learning toileting and trying to understand a younger sibling's behavior. Recommended!

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 Potty - Little Critter

May 2, 2012

By: Carisa Kluver

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Mercer Mayer with Gina Mayer

Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Length (time):
4 - 6 Minutes

Based on non-digital book: Yes

Allows Own Narration:

Uses Motion: No

Age: 2 - 6 +

English •

Length (pages):
30 Pages


Story Synopsis - The New Potty - Little Critter

Little Critter wears underpants, but not his baby sister ... she's still in diapers. One day, Mom says, "It's time for Little Sister to use a potty." So they go to the store and buy her a pink potty chair, which Little Sister proudly carries herself. But at first she won't sit on it, seeming scared. So Little Critter shows his baby sister how fun it is to sit on, making her ready to try.

As the day goes on, Little Sister gets more comfortable sitting on her new potty as a chair ... to watch TV and even to eat dinner, but she doesn't actually use the potty until the next day. She also gets new underwear. Little Sister has a few accidents ... the sandbox, bathroom floor, etc., but soon she is doing it 'just right' and the whole family is proud of her for being a 'big girl'.


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Orientation: Landscape & Portrait

Format: Universal


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

App Release Date:


Size: 20.22 MB

Version: 1.08.3

Lite Version Available: No



The New Potty - Little Critter

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