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Trivia / Living Books

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  • Children Voicing Children: Many child characters in the games were voiced by actual children. Most notable is developer Mark Schlichting's son Aaron voicing Little Critter in Just Grandma and Me and Little Monster in Little Monster at School.
  • Cross-Dressing Voices: This was done with, of all characters, Grandma in Just Grandma and Me. She was played by Mark Schlichting.
  • Dueling Dubs: Just Grandma and Me has a completely new Spanish dub for its V2 Updated Re-release. This expands beyond just the fact that it has a new voice cast — it also uses Castilian Spanish (the dialect more predominantly heard in Spanish Europe) instead of Latin Spanish (Central and South American dialect), which also means some of the grammatical rules and terminology change along with it.
  • Follow the Leader: A ton. Living Books completely changed the face of Edutainment Games, so naturally many followed suit of varying results. In fact, this is what most of the cheaply done edutainment titles consisted of during the mid-to-late 90s and early 2000s. Many of them weren't even books to begin with. Specific examples:
    • The Disney's Animated Storybook series, which adapted various Disney films into interactive books. Some of these were The Lion King and 101 Dalmatians. Ironically, Media Station developed some of these titles, and would later go on to make D.W. the Picky Eater, which was an actual Living Book, and would also be the Oddball in the Series.
    • GT Interactive did various Mercer Mayer stories, such as Just Me and My Mom, Just Me and My Dad, and Little Monster Private Eye: The Smelly Mystery. These were arguably some of the better clones though, as they made it less of an interactive book and more of a game. These are some of the few titles that are high enough quality (and similar enough in style) that some people mistakenly remember them being actual Living Books.
    • Some of the Sesame Street Licensed Games were interactive books.
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    • The Magic Tales series was a take on classic foreign folk tales rather than children's books, and were made by Davidson & Associates and Animation Magic. Yes, that Animation Magic.
    • Also released by Davidson was the Puddle Books series from Fisher-Price which consisted of six original stories which had an activity on each page you can "jump" into. Another one of the better clones due to its humor and wide variety of activities.
    • There's The BBC's attempt at making one in 1997's Noddy: The Magic of Toytown.
    • Packard Bell created a few interactive storybooks and bundled them with their computers in the mid-to-late 90s (most noteworthy being The Pirate Who Wouldn't Wash and Milly Fitzwilly's Mouse Catcher).
    • Even Sierra got in on the act with Slater & Charlie Go Camping, about two dinosaurs, one of which originated from a remake of their earlier game Oil's Well, going camping.
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    • Corel CD and I. Hoffman and Associates released Nikolai's Adventures, a series of interactive stories about a four-year-old boy named Nikolai and his imaginary adventures with Neow-Neow, his naughty cat puppet.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Living Books and GT Interactive had entirely different interpretations of Little Monster. On the Living Books side of things, most of the characters sounded like young kids and were energetic, whereas they had rather deep voices and were much more easy going when GT Interactive gave it a shot (most notably in The Smelly Mystery.) It's also a bit weird to see Little Monster's pet Kerploppus go from acting like a dog to becoming a talking anthropomorphic character (speaking like Sean Connery, no less!) just like everyone else.
    • Little Critter's voice actor was also replaced in the re-release of Just Grandma and Me.
    • Simon has a raspy and higher pitched voice in all of the samplers compared to his role as the narrator in The Tortoise and the Hare. This happened again when the mobile version of the sampler was released, with a new line recorded of him saying "Welcome to the Wanderful sampler" in a very obviously different voice.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: The titles based on Dr. Seuss books will likely never see release on modern tablet devices as Seuss's books are exclusively licensed to Oceanhouse Media, Inc. as far as interactive apps go. Mercifully, the CD-ROM versions are among the most reprinted in the series.
  • Killer App: For CD-ROM drives on the family side of things. The first title released at the tail end of 1992, and at the time, a game aimed at children being released exclusively on a compact disc (as opposed to CD and floppy) was pretty unheard of. During the line's first few years, some parents and teachers reported buying a CD drive for the sole purpose of running these games. It wasn't exactly a huge CD-ROM drive seller like Myst, but it's still at least noteworthy enough that it could be considered an example.
  • Real-Life Relative: Of sorts in Just Grandma and Me. Co-developer Mark Schlichting voiced Grandma, and his son Aaron voiced Little Critter.
  • What Could Have Been: The Green Eggs and Ham Living Book had a clip where Sam-I-Am approached the then-unnamed grumpy character (today Guy-Am-I) on the plate of green eggs and ham in an oddly... suggestive pose. This didn't make it into the final game, but it appeared in a prototype of the game's demo featured on the Berenstain Bears in the Dark title.

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