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Living Books was a series of interactive books with animation aimed at childrennote  produced by Brøderbund and Random House and distributed on CD-ROM for Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh. The series began with the release of Just Grandma and Me (an adaptation of the book by Mercer Mayer) in 1992. Later, in 2012, several former Living Books employees formed Wanderful Interactive Storybooks and secured the rights to Living Books assets from owning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and have since released many of the games for modern iOS and Android mobile devices, with Windows and Mac versions still on the horizon. The newer apps add a few new features such as an in-page interface for skipping directly to other pages, as well as the ability to switch between languages on the fly.

The games in the series, in order, are:note 

All of the games have the option to either have the story be read to you, or to play the story and then allow you to click anywhere to bring inanimate objects to life. Pretty much everyone who plays the games went with the latter option.

They are notable for featuring Easter Egg-laden stills on each page.

For books that are actually alive, see Books That Bite.

Tropes featured include:

  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: In "The Tortoise and the Hare", several animals wear only accessories. One bear, for instance, wears a tie, the bird narrator wears shoes, and the beaver wears a baseball cap and shoes.
  • Adaptational Explanation:
    • "Green Eggs and Ham" explains the reason the eggs are green— a green bird laid them.
    • "The Tortoise and the Hare" explains why the hare got tired — he ate too much.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Some games have extra scenes that aren't in the original books.
  • Alternate Aesop Interpretation: In-Universe. In "The Tortoise and the Hare", the narrator bird maintains that the moral is "Slow and steady wins the race", but other animals interpret it as "Don't be such a big shot", "Always eat a balanced breakfast" or "The journey is the reward".
  • Ambiguous Gender: While most of the characters' genders can be determined by their voices or clothes, it is difficult to tell with the child of the woman on the train in "Green Eggs and Ham", who has a bob and wear pants. It may be presumed that the child is a boy.
  • Animal Talk: Ruff in Ruff's Bone can only bark, but is able to talk to the player.
  • Animate Inanimate Object:
    • In "The Cat in the Hat", the milk jug and glass, the table mirror, the three portraits, and a book can all speak.
    • In "Dr. Seuss's ABC", a cactus, the moon, the soda glasses, and the portrait of Nixie Knox are all sentient.
    • "The Tortoise and the Hare" features some sentient chimneys, windows, and mailboxes.
  • Anthropomorphic Food:
    • In "Dr. Seuss's ABC", the doughnuts in David's dream can speak and sing. Some peppers sing and dance in Xavier's stomach.
    • In "The Tortoise and the Hare", the cabbages, carrots, beets, and tomatoes in the garden can speak.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: According to this article, the running guy cursor during the load screens was used to keep the players distracted while they wait.
  • Argument of Contradictions:
    • In "Green Eggs and Ham", one long-necked animal admits he eats green eggs and ham, and another one says, "Ah, you'd eat anything!". They begin shouting, "Would not!" "Would too!" at each other.
    • In "Stellaluna", two of Stellaluna's bird "brothers" begin arguing "Did not", "Did too" when one accuses the other of bumping him.
  • Art Evolution: The early titles featured characters with very basic design and no shading and much more Limited Animation. Eventually, the characters started to look more like actual illustrations, and the animation got progressively better.
  • Artistic License – Animal Care: On the penultimate page of Arthur's Reading Race where Arthur and D.W. have gotten their ice cream, clicking Arthur will have him let Pal lick his chocolate ice cream cone; after which Arthur states: "Pal loves chocolate, too!" Do the math. Chocolate is toxic to dogs.
  • Art Shift: A subtle one in Stellaluna. The character designs (particularly in the main characters and various gag characters) are slightly more cartoon-ish than the nearly photo-realistic illustrations in Janell Cannon's original book.
  • Automatic Level: Several pages in each story will always advance to the next page without giving any clickables. The whole story is transformed into this in "Read to Me".
  • Baby See, Baby Do: In "Stellaluna", when Mama Bat names Stellaluna, she echoes back, "Stella... luna."
  • Banana Peel: Clicking on "Skip" in "The Tortoise and the Hare" causes the Hare to slip on a banana peel.
  • Big Eater:
    • The dinosaur from "Dr. Seuss's ABC" eats twelve doughnuts and twelve daisies.
    • The Hare in "The Tortoise and the Hare" eats a lot of vegetables from the garden, which ultimately ends up making him sleepy.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • On the title screen for The Tortoise and the Hare, the Hare introduces himself like so:
      Hare: And I'm the Hare! And this is the story about how I beat him in the race! It all began one day when the Tortoise was just lying around not doing anything, and I was trying to help him get moving! (Checks watch) Oh, gotta go! See you later!
    • Yalley's "what I did over the weekend" story in Little Monster at School
      Yalley: Does anyone wanna hear what else I did?
      Class: NO!
  • Boring, but Practical: The "Read to Me" option is unanimously considered to almost be a total throwaway option (in fact, D.W. the Picky Eater doesn't even have the option at all). However, when you think about it, it does make sense for the option to exist, considering it is a book, after all.
  • Bravado Song: In their adaptation of Sheila Rae, the Brave, Sheila Rae sings a song about how nothing can scare her. She turns out to be wrong, however, when she becomes lost in the woods.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: This from Arthur's Birthday:
    Mr. Read: (talking about ice cream flavors) Look! We got chocolate...strawberry...and mocha almond spinach!
    Arthur and D.W.: Ewww!
    Mr. Read: Just kidding.
    D.W.: Dad, that's not funny!
  • Brick Joke:
    • In Dr. Seuss's ABC, Page Y has Young Yolanda Yorgenson yelling "Yoo-Hoo, is that you out yonder?", followed by a voice saying "Yes!". This turns out to be the voice of the Zizzer-Zazzer-Zuzz on Page Z.
    • Arthur's Computer Adventure has one page where a couple of mice order a large cheese pizza with extra cheese, and hold the pizza. A later page has a man at the pizza parlor calling Arthur's voice mail confirming the order.
  • By the Lights of Their Eyes: Page 9 of Green Eggs and Ham shows Guy, Sam, the mouse, and fox as barely visible silhouettes in the dark tunnel with just their eyes lit.
  • Call-Back: It wasn't uncommon for a game's click point to feature a Call-Back to an earlier game.
    • Harry and the Haunted House features the return of the epic paper airplane from Arthur's Teacher Trouble on Page 8. One of the bugs folds a piece of paper to form it, and when he tosses it off, it plays the same heavy metal it was known for.
    • Dr. Seuss's ABC has a Call-Back to the same game — on Page K, clicking on the kite reveals the small yellow guy (the Zed) sliding down the string and creating a hole. He tries patching it up, but it still shows a little bit. Clicking on the hole forms a spider, playing the same music it went along with in Arthur's Teacher Trouble.
    • Little Monster at School also features the return of the epic paper airplane. On Page 12, one of the kids inside the school for recess decides to throw a paper airplane out; when he tosses it, heavy metal music plays when it flies.
  • Calling Your Nausea: In "Stellaluna", one of the bird brothers claims he's going to be sick when hanging upside down. He never actually throws up though.
  • Canine Confusion: In one of the adaptations of one of the Arthur books, Pal is portrayed as loving chocolate, even though in real life, chocolate makes dogs sick and could even kill them.
  • Cactus Cushion: If you click on "Spring" on page 6 of "The Tortoise and the Hare", the Hare will jump up, only to land on a cactus.
  • Chicken Joke: In "The Tortoise and the Hare", a chicken walks across the racetrack, causing another to wonder why she crossed the road.
  • Compressed Adaptation: The New Kid on the Block only features 17 of the original 100+ poems found in the original book for obvious reasons.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The Theme Tune in Arthur's Birthday is an upbeat remix of the tune from Arthur's Teacher Trouble.
    • Clicking on Arthur's pillow on page 2 of Arthur's Reading Race temporarily turns it into a ghost, complete with the ghost leitmotif from Harry and the Haunted House.
  • Counting Song: In Sheila Rae, the Brave, Sheila Rae, while pretending her cherries are bears' eyes, sings a song with lyrics such as "One, two, three, four dead bear eyes."
  • Developer's Foresight:
    • Between pages 11 and 12 of Green Eggs and Ham (as the train and everything/one on it is plummeting toward the boat), the story is paused for an optional rhyming mini-game where Sam-I-Am asks the player to match words in a box at the bottom of the screen with the falling objects and characters on the screen that they rhyme with. The Green Eggs and Ham themselves are a possible object (with the words they rhyme with being either "yam", "jam", or "Sam(-I-Am)"). There's nothing preventing the player from clicking on Sam himself, since (obviously) his name also rhymes with "ham", and if this happens, Sam will simply ask the player what else on the screen rhymes with yam/jam/Sam.
    • On page 5a of The Cat in the Hat, you can use your mouse to knock on the side of the box containing the Things. Normally the Things will repeat your knocking pattern back at you and giggle, but if you knock the first five notes of Shave And A Haircut, they'll complete the pattern with two knocks of their own.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: In "Ruff's Bone", the protagonist's owner throws his bone too hard and the owner says that he is the Trope Codifier.
    Owner: Okay Ruff, here's your bone. Ready? (throws bone) Whoa! I didn't know my own strength; Go get it Ruff.
  • Dogs Love Fire Hydrants: In page 5 of The Tortoise and the Hare, a dog sniffs a fire hydrant and gets soaked by it.
  • Dramatic Irony: On almost every page of Harry and the Haunted House, you can click on items to make ghosts appear. Despite this confirming that the house is haunted, no main character in the story catches on...aside from Earl who briefly catches glimpses of the spirits but otherwise doesn't confirm his paranoia.
  • Dub Name Change: D.W.'s name in Spanish is Dorita, since "W" isn't used often in Spanish.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • Just Grandma and Me has much more basic click points, and has no Running Gag (V2 remedied this with Little Critter's grasshopper friend). One moment of notice is when clicking on a radio causes it to play the same noise as when you click on a menu button. Later games only used this noise on the menu and nowhere else.
    • Arthur's Teacher Trouble and Arthur's Birthday, from the perspective of the overall Arthur series. They predate the television show, thus featuring different character designs and voices. From Arthur's Reading Race on, the character designs and voices are more similar to the television show.
  • Easter Egg: Lots of them. Such as clicking on the letters that spell out HELP! in the pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey minigame in version 2 of Arthur's Birthday, which would cause the graphics to be all Christmas-y.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: A downplayed case to be sure. In the Deep Dark Sea minigame in Arthur's Computer Adventure, nothing is stopping you from simply hugging the surface of the water and bypassing all the danger below. However, the surface offers little to no treasure to find (let alone the much-hyped "Thing"), is often devoid of any sea life (hostile or non-hostile), and as long as you are there you have Arthur constantly nudging you to "dive down to the bottom to look for treasure". As a result, surface-hugging runs of Deep Dark Sea make for rather boring experiences unless you actually go down to the ocean floor to explore as you are encouraged to do.
  • Embarrassingly Dresslike Outfit: Implied for their adaptation of the Arthur book "Arthur's Teacher Trouble". When Mr. Ratburn's pants are replaced with a kilt, he looks shocked, but it's unclear whether it's because of the kilt or because of the clothes simultaneously changing.
  • The End: Nearly every game ends on this, though there are a few exceptions, such as The New Kid On The Block, The Cat in the Hat and Stellaluna.
  • Episode Title Card: After the logo, the book cover will show up along with the title being announced.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: It's a book that is living.
  • Expository Theme Tune: The Theme Tune in Sheila Rae is this.
    B-R-A-V-E spells "brave"
    That's what they call
    Sheila Rae!
  • Fade to Black: Between just about every screen.
  • Failed Attempt at Scaring: In "The Tortoise and the Hare", a sentient scarecrow says, "Boo!" to Simon, a bird. Simon isn't scared, and scares the scarecrow by yelling, "Boo!" back.
  • Faint in Shock: Discussed in "The Cat in the Hat", when Tommy says, "Mom would faint at this mess!".
  • Fat Flex: In Arthur's Birthday, there is a rotund man at the party store. Clicking on him causes him to turn into a superhero, complete with the Heroic Build. But then his fat quickly plops down, prompting an embarrassed look on his face.
  • Female Feline, Male Mutt: A weird example in Harry and the Haunted House. While Amy the cat is anthromorphic, Spot the dog is zoomorphic.
  • Follow the Bouncing Ball: The words were highlighted as they were read.
  • Food Coma: "The Tortoise and the Hare" explains the reason for the Hare getting tired as him having eaten too much when he stopped by a vegetable garden.
  • Foreshadowing: A book on Page 12 of The Cat in the Hat foreshadows the events of The Cat in the Hat Comes Back (which never was a Living Book).
  • Funny Background Event: With all the things to click in the background, this is basically happening ALL THE TIME to the characters in the story.
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel: In Arthur's Computer Adventure, Arthur has a devil and angel appear in thought bubbles.
    Devil: You can play while Mama's away! She'll never know!
    Angel: No! You mustn't listen to him; always do what your mom says!
    Devil: You have to find the Thing; you'll win all that stuff!
    Angel: See? I told you to listen to your mom!
    Devil: You can blame it on DW or Pal!
    Arthur: You got me into this mess! I'm not gonna listen to you again!
  • Got Volunteered: In Harry and the Haunted House, this happens to Harry.
    Harry Voice-Over: The front door was open a little so we went in. (Earl and Stinky shove Harry through the door) I volunteered to take the lead.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • The paper airplane on Page 24 of Arthur's Teacher Trouble is hidden in an extremely obscure spot. As in, the last place you'd ever expect to look. On top of that, the click box is very small. The location of it is just barely above Mr. Ratburn's head.
    • The dragonfly in The Tortoise and the Hare is hidden in some very obscure places, and is commonly used as the yardstick for levels of obscurity when it comes to other Guide Dang Its. For example, on Page 11, he's hidden on the far left, a place that looks like there's nothing to click on there.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: A lot of the animal characters in "The Tortoise and the Hare", including the title characters, wear only shirts, while a pig wears only pants, as does a dragonfly.
  • Here We Go Again!: In Ruff's Bone, after Ruff FINALLY retrieves his bone from a long journey, his owner throws it again. His reaction is...less than satisfying.
    • Similarly, in Harry and the Haunted House, after Stinky gets his ball back, Harry loses his hat, and he and his friends have to go back into that mansion to find it. However, Harry did get his hat back in the "The End" screen.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • A kid on Page 3 of Sheila Rae mentions why he was sent to the principal's — through talking too much. This, of course, prompts him to start getting very talkative about it.
    • Simon, the narrator for The Tortoise and the Hare, on page 1. He will comment that the Hare is moving so fast he is not paying attention to where he is going... as he absentmindedly steps on a weak spot of the roof of the Tortoise's house and falls through it.
  • Interactive Narrator: In addition to narrating The Tortoise and the Hare, Simon often participates in some of the story's in-universe events, such as acting as the referee to start the race.
  • Interface Spoiler: On many occasions, during a huge plot twist or something along the lines of that, the text would always be displayed as the twist was being worked.
  • Iris Out: Sheila Rae ends on this.
  • Kinetic Novel: The series could be considered a prototype version of this genre, despite coming out way before this term (or its related term, sound novel) was even invented.
  • Lampshade Wearing: In "The Cat in the Hat", one of the "lamps" turns out to actually be the purple bird wearing a lampshade.
    Purple Bird: Guess it wasn't too bright to try being the light!
  • Leitmotif: In "The Tortoise and the Hare", the title characters and a dragonfly that appears on all pages have their own theme tunes.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The Pacific Ocean level in Deep Dark Sea (from Arthur's Computer Adventure) includes an optional underwater volcano to explore early on. Using the minigame's mouse controls is required for exploring it to its full extent.
  • Licked by the Dog: On Page 3 of Sheila Rae, a click spot has a dog coming up to Wendell, while he's tied up in a jump rope. He tries to get the dog to untie him, but he gets licked on the face instead, and he finds it disgusting.
  • Literal Bookworm: In The Berenstain Bears in the Dark, clicking on one of the books in the library will cause a glasses-wearing bookworm to pop out, who rubs his tummy in satisfaction and says, "Mm! I love a good book."
  • Living Clothes: One of the animations on the first page of Green Eggs and Ham has Guy-Am-I's fur come off of his body and do an Egyptian dance around the room leaving Guy in an orange tank top and polka-dot boxers. Guy then whistles, causing the fur to come back.
  • Logo Joke: Green Eggs and Ham starts with a usual Living Books logo, but then the face worryingly looks upward followed by being smashed by the plate for the title screen.
  • Melancholy Musical Number: In "Stellaluna", the eponymous bat sings a sad song once she's lost, asking if she'll ever find a friend.
  • Mini-Game: Some later games included one, and even later games included several. note 
  • Misplaced Wildlife:
    • Several (humorous) examples with the tree hotspots on page 10 of Arthur's Teacher Trouble, most notably a penguin.
    • In Arthur's Computer Adventure, electric eels are among the enemies in Deep Dark Sea. Electric eels are freshwater fish endemic to South America.
  • The Moral Substitute: The short-lived "Little Ark" spinoff series, based on stories from The Bible rather than picture books and also published by Broderbund.
  • Motor Mouth: Hare from The Tortoise and the Hare will occasionally speak very quickly.
  • Multiple Endings: Not so much from the stories themselves, but the two bonus board game mini-games included in Arthur's Reading Race and Arthur's Computer Adventure had these chosen by the player who won:
    • In Reading Race, Arthur or D.W. reach the ice cream shop and the player simply chooses one of several quirky ice cream flavors. No ending is really treated better than any of the others.
    • Computer Adventure (where Arthur and Buster race to find hidden treasure) has more defined endings (via a Spinning Paper headline) depending on how Arthur or Buster uses their recently discovered treasure, via the player clicking on ideas in a thought balloon: A lollipop, a teddy bear, a building, an island, a gift box, and a pile of treasure.
      • Golden Ending: Clicking the gift box or the building results in Arthur/Buster giving their wealth away to the general public or donating it to the museum respectively.
      • Happy Ending: Clicking the teddy bear or the island results in Arthur/Buster either buying toys or building an amusement park for the enjoyment of their friends and family.
      • Bittersweet Ending: Clicking the lollipop results in Arthur/Buster opening a huge candy store in town. Everyone enjoys it, but then Arthur/Buster's dental health deteriorates.
      • Downer Ending: Clicking the treasure pile results in Arthur/Buster deciding to keep the treasure all to themselves; locking themselves in their bedroom with the treasure and swimming in it Scrooge McDuck-style. Everyone expresses disappointment in Arthur/Buster for not doing more with their newfound wealth and Arthur/Buster miss their favorite dessert because their treasure blocked their door. A subtle moral about sharing your benefits with others ensues.
  • Musical Nod: Music from previous games were featured in newer additions to the series.
    • A record player on Page 7 of Arthur's Teacher Trouble plays the Theme Tune from Just Grandma and Me.
    • Clicking on the lamp in page 12 of Arthur's Birthday plays the Theme Tune from Arthur's Teacher Trouble.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Many of the characters in "Dr. Seuss's ABC" were given this treatment:
    • The alligator is now named Albert.
    • The camel is named Clive.
    • The elephant is named Ethel.
    • The Fiffer-Feffer-Feff is named Feffer.
    • The girl is named Greta and her goat is named Gus.
    • The hen is named Harriet.
    • Ichabod's sister is named Izzy.
    • The king is named Kindly King Kevin Kerplotski III.
    • The lion is named Leonard.
    • The mice are named Mary, Mario, Malinda, Minerva, Mike, and Marvin.
    • The ostrich is named Onis.
    • Peter Pepper's puppy is named Patches.
    • The Queen of Quincy is named Quinella.
    • The rhino is named Rupert.
    • Two of the turtles are named Tina and Ted.
    • The fox is named Xavier.
  • No Name Given: A lot of the original characters (such as the purple bird from "The Cat in the Hat" and the moth/butterfly from "Stellaluna") are unnamed.
  • Oddball in the Series:
    • The New Kid on the Block is the only one to be based on short poems rather than a whole story.
    • The New Kid on the Block and Dr. Seuss's ABC are the only two where most of the interaction comes from clicking on the text.
    • D.W. the Picky Eater is the only game that doesn't use the Mohawk engine.
    • Also, The Tortoise and the Hare, Ruff's Bone, and Harry and the Haunted House are the only Living Books PC games to be original stories not being based on any existing books.
  • Ode to Food: In "Stellaluna", when the bats are eating the mangoes, if one particular one is clicked, they'll start singing about them.
  • Once per Episode: The title screens are always done in the same format - the main character explains what to do, and then they dance to the Theme Tune.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: On Page 9 of Green Eggs and Ham, clicking on the fox will reveal he is attempting to eat the ham in the dark only to get caught. The normally cheerful Sam puts on a Death Glare as he silently orders the fox to put the ham back on the plate.
  • Pop Up Video Games: The Let Me Play option in every single game in the series, and the Trope Maker as they were the ones who popularized it. The only other known example as early as this was Humongous Entertainment's games, and they claimed to get their inspiration of this concept from these.
  • Powder Gag: In "Harry and the Haunted House", Harry at one point gets covered in flour, causing Earl to mistake him for a ghost.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: The New Kid on the Block originally contained more than a hundred poems in the original book. While acceptable for a book of short poems to have that many, it was quite obvious there was no possible way to adapt that many for the game. As such, the game only adapts eighteen of them.
  • Pull a Rabbit out of My Hat: On Page 9 of Green Eggs and Ham, clicking on Guy will cause a spotlight to shine on him as he does a hat trick; the first click will cause him to pull out the green bird and be embarrassed, while every subsequent click will cause him to pull out a rabbit and an offscreen crowd applauds him.
  • Recurring Extra: A few stories have minor characters who don't have much to do with the story, but show up on almost every page. The birds in Sheila Rae are an example.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: In The Tortoise and the Hare, Hare is the cocky swift busybody Red who can't stay still for a minute while Tortoise is the easy-going, good-natured, and humble Blue who paces himself through life. Their shirts even reflect their respective colors.
  • Related in the Adaptation: In "Dr. Seuss's ABC", two of the mice (named Mary and Melinda) are now mother and daughter.
  • Regional Bonus: The NTSC version of Sheila Rae, the Brave includes a map game, albeit one that is very all over the place in terms of programming — they used the same scripting that was used for reading the books, which led to different files for every single viewing angle and Loads and Loads of Loading, all totaling up to almost 350 MB of space (keep in mind this was more than half of what CDs could even hold at the time, not to mention it was even bigger than the story itself). The PAL localization used custom scripting for it instead, working it into more of an actual game engine and compressing it down to 40 MB.
  • Reused Character Design: The final page of The Tortoise and the Hare has two spectators, one as a skunk wearing a yellow shirt and another as a little cat girl wearing a ribbon on her head. They most likely inspired the designs for Stinky and Amy respectively in Harry and the Haunted House.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: The Dr. Seuss books, true to nature, are told in rhyme. Even the main screen and minigames does it.
  • Ridiculously Alive Undead: In "Harry and the Haunted House", a ghost is seen drinking water at one point.
  • Running Gag: Every game has an element that shows up on every page, except The New Kid on the Block. Specific examples:
    • Arthur's Teacher Trouble has a paper airplane, complete with heavy metal music.
    • The Tortoise and the Hare has a dragonfly, who is hidden in very obscure places.
    • Ruff's Bone has the bone as the gag, and the only page it doesn't appear on is page 9.
    • Little Monster at School has Little Monster's pet Zipper-Umpa-Zoo.
    • Arthur's Birthday has party supplies popping out of random objects. (Both versions are the same)
    • Harry and the Haunted House has a spider.
      • Harry also has three multicolored ladybugs and a red bird in the outdoor scenes.
    • The Berenstain Bears Get in a Fight has a bee. The iPad/iPod versions gave him the name Buzzy.
    • Dr. Seuss's ABC has a yellow fuzzy guy (the Zed).
    • Sheila Rae, the Brave has butterflies. It changes from page to page, but there's always a butterfly somewhere.
      • Sheila Rae also has two bluebirds, said to be sisters, that mirror the story's action.
    • The Berenstain Bears in the Dark has a firefly.
    • Green Eggs and Ham has a green bird.
    • Stellaluna has a moth.
    • Arthur's Reading Race has an orange cat.
    • Just Grandma and Me V2 retroactively added one — Little Critter's grasshopper friend.
    • The Cat in the Hat has a purple bird.
    • Arthur's Computer Adventure has a couple of mice.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here:
    • In Arthur's Computer Adventure, the lamp near Mrs. Read's computer keeps begging you to not click on him. He pulls this on his final page by hopping off the table and leaving when you click on him too many times.
    • In The Berenstain Bears in the Dark, clicking on the card catalogue drawers on page 1 will eventually bring forth a very irate mouse:
      Mouse: Who's flipping those drawers open?! (stomps off) That does it, I'm outta here!
    • Sister Bear also does this in the same game as a reaction to the scary story Brother is reading, thus setting forth the plot.
  • Same Language Dub: Much like how Humongous Entertainment got entirely redone dubs for the UK, Living Books also got several UK dubs. Four of these UK dubs were also rereleased on the iPod, iPad, and iPhone by Wanderful Storybooks.
    • In a similar vein, Just Grandma and Me was dubbed in Spanish twice — once in Latin Spanish (what V1 includes), and once in Castilian Spanish (what V2 includes).
  • Shout-Out:
    • In the first scene of Harry and the Haunted House, whenever you click on the bird, he'll say a rather famous baseball quote.
    • In Sheila Rae, when you click on a hole in the ground on the ninth page, a groundhog will show up and ask if anyone knows the way to San Jose. This is a reference to the 1968 song "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?" by Burt Bacharach.
    • At the end of Green Eggs and Ham, the two main characters walk off into the sunset, and Guy says "You know, Sam, this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship."
    • In The Cat in the Hat, the mirror says, "Mirror, mirror on the table. I would hide if I were able", which is a reference to "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest one of all?" from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
  • Singing in the Shower: A mouse on page 10 of "The Tortoise and the Hare" showers under a waterfall while singing.
  • Slapstick: In "The Cat in the Hat", the purple bird falls over backwards while she's claiming it's "time to be firm" with Thing 1 and Thing 2.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The paper airplane Running Gag in Arthur's Teacher Trouble gets some heavy metal music, despite just being an airplane being made of paper. This is exactly why it became so well-known.
  • Stealth Pun: Page 4 The Tortoise and the Hare has a quartet of hens who get really excited when they see Simon and swarm around him. Apparently, Simon is a Chick Magnet.
  • Stock Footage: Surprisingly averted for the most part, even in games from the same book series. The Berenstain Bears in the Dark is one example though — the "The End" screen, the options screen, and the quit screen all reuse animations from Get in a Fight, with some of the dialog being exactly the same. The "The End" screen is particularly blatant due to the lack of detail on the characters compared to the rest of the game.
  • Theme Tune: Every game has one. The character will always dance to it on every title screen after explaining what to do. note 
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Amy from “Harry and the Haunted House”. She has a snarky and feisty attitude and enjoys playing baseball with the boys yet she wears a pink shirt underneath her overalls along with a pink bow on her head.
  • Unstoppable Mailman: One of the things that can result from clicking on the window on the first page of The Cat in the Hat is water flooding up outside of it before a mailman in scuba gear swims by.
    "The mail must get through!"
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Hilariously, the characters often don't seem to notice the wacky shenanigans going on around them as the player clicks on everything, even when it's happening before their very eyes. For one instance, clicking on the giraffe drawing on Page 2 of Arthur's Birthday causes it to come to life and pull on the ribbon in Sue Ellen's hair (causing Sue Ellen visible discomfort) before letting go. Muffy is looking directly at Sue Ellen as this happens and has no reaction whatsoever. In cases where the characters do notice the strange things going on, commonly they'll simply react with a puzzled Aside Glance to the camera (perhaps with a bemused remark) before going back to what they were doing before.
  • Updated Re-release: Just Grandma and Me and Arthur's Birthday have one. They increased the resolution, and the former added a UI for languages while the latter added minigames. The latter also omitted the Spanish language option (even though the Portuguese version of Arthur's Birthday was the updated version of that game and included American English).
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: In "Dr. Seuss's ABC", Jerry Jordan is afraid of jellyfish.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: Likely the reason why Harry's dog Spot was changed from white to brown (like the color of Harry) in the PAL versions, as he bore an uncanny resemblance to Snowy from Tintin and Snoopy from Peanuts. However, the NTSC version of this PC game kept Spot in white.

Alternative Title(s): Wanderful Interactive Storybooks


Guy-Am-I's hat trick

If Guy is clicked on during the "Dark" page, he gives his own magic show.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / PullARabbitOutOfMyHat

Media sources: