When a new baby arrives, Dudley misses special time spent fetching and playing ball with his family in this brief, predictable tale.
“Life [is] good for Dudley.” He takes long walks with his “parents,” plays ball in the park and sleeps in their bed. Everything changes when Baby arrives. Dudley misses playtime and walks, and his delicious homemade food has been replaced with kibble. Most of all, he’s confused why the new baby gets all the attention: “After all, she was loud and smelly!” With saccharine predictability, “Dudley learned that Baby was not just a house guest, but a new member of his family.” The characters are as plain as a vanilla wafer and never utter a word in direct dialogue (except for some jealous dogs in the park). The digital illustrations are inconsistent; Labradoodle Dudley is attractively drawn, but the human figures suffer from unnatural shading and coloring. Readers will be happier with a humorous approach like Emily Jenkins and Pierre Pratt’s That New Animal (2005) or catchy writing like Kathi Appelt and Kelly Murphy’s Brand-New Baby Blues (2010). It’s also not really clear who the audience is; most books that place pets in a new-baby scenario clearly aim to give children a nonthreatening character to relate to, but this app actually appears to be targeted to dogs.
Unremarkable and uneven—steer clear. (iPad storybook app. 3-6)