Living Books series

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Living Books
The Living Books Logo
Parent company Random House/Brøderbund
Founded 1992
Status Currently owned by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Country of origin United States
Location Eugene, Oregon
San Rafael, California
Novato, California
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Syracuse, New York
Phoenix, Arizona

The Living Books series is a series of interactive animated multimedia children's books, first produced by Brøderbund and then spun off into a jointly-owned (with Random House) subsidiary, which were distributed on CD-ROM for Apple Macintosh and Microsoft Windows. The series began with the release of Just Grandma and Me (an adaptation of the book by Mercer Mayer) in 1992; other titles in the series included The Tortoise and the Hare, Arthur's Teacher Trouble (and other adaptations of books by Marc Brown), Dr. Seuss and Berenstain Bears titles.[1] Nicely produced "play-through" videos on most Living Books titles can be found on YouTube and Several former Brøderbund leaders are now releasing the titles on iOS and Android as Wanderful interactive storybooks.

CD-ROMs in the series[edit]

Story Author Year Other Language(s) Notes
Just Grandma and Me Mercer Mayer 1992
  • Japan (V 1.0)
  • Spain
Version 2.0 released in 1997, which included a game.
Arthur's Teacher Trouble Marc Brown 1993
  • Spain
The New Kid on the Block Jack Prelutsky and James Stevenson 1993
The Tortoise and the Hare Aesop 1993
  • Spain
Ruff's Bone Eli Noyes 1994
  • Spain
Little Monster at School Mercer Mayer 1994
  • Spain
Arthur's Birthday Marc Brown 1994
  • Spain (V 1.0)
Version 2.0 released in 1997, which includes two games.
Harry and the Haunted House Mark Schlichting 1994
  • Spain
The Berenstain Bears Get in a Fight Stan and Jan Berenstain 1995
  • Spain
Dr. Seuss' ABC Dr. Seuss 1995 Sing-a-long is included.
Stellaluna Jannell Cannon 1996 A game is included.
Green Eggs and Ham Dr. Seuss 1996 3 games are included.
The Berenstain Bears in the Dark Stan and Jan Berenstain 1996 2 games are included.
Sheila Rae, the Brave Kevin Henkes 1995
  • Spain
A game and 7 sing-a-longs are included.
Arthur's Reading Race Marc Brown 1996 A game is included.
The Cat in the Hat Dr. Seuss 1997
Arthur's Computer Adventure Marc Brown 1998 Five games are included.
D.W. the Picky Eater Marc Brown 1999 New menu system. Four games are included. Last book released in the Living Books series.


Computer Gaming World in 1993 praised Arthur's Teacher Troubles and Just Grandma and Me, describing Living Books as "Broderbund's acclaimed series".[2] Publishers Weekly, in a review of Dr. Seuss' ABC, called that title "one of the best children's CD-ROMs to date" and stated that, "[...] the producers' fondness for Dr. Seuss and their fidelity to his sense of refined silliness spill into every sequence."[3] Simson L. Garfinkel and Beth Rosenberg found that the CD-ROMs played better on Macs than on PCs. Although they found the titles to be of high quality in a market flooded with "questionable" releases for children, they stated that not all of them lived up to the company's educational claims (noting Dr. Seuss' ABC and Arthur's reading Race as exceptions) and felt that the added dialogue supplementing the book's text was sometimes "out of character". [4] Arthur's Teacher Trouble, The Tortoise and the Hare, Ruff's Bone, and Little Monster at School all received a very high score of over 90.00 in the book CD-ROMs Rated by Les Kranz; in the review for Little Monster at School, the graphics and the number of clickable areas were described as positives.[5]


  1. ^ Series Review "THE LIVING BOOKS Series by Living Books/Broderbund." McMath, Chuck. Game Bytes Vol 1. Num. 21. 1994. Retrieved March 24, 2007.
  2. ^ "Forging Ahead or Fit to be Smashed?". Computer Gaming World. 1993-04. p. 24. Retrieved 6 July 2014. 
  3. ^ "Multimedia Reviews: Dr. Seuss' ABC". Publishers Weekly (New York: Cahners Publishing Company) 242 (35): 41. 1995-08-28. ISSN 0000-0019. 
  4. ^ Garfinkel, Simson L.; Beth Rosenberg (1998-02-05). "Bringing kids' books to life". Boston Globe Online. Globe Newspaper Company. Retrieved 2009-11-02. 
  5. ^ Kranz, Les (1994). CD-ROMs Rated: A Guide to the Best and Worst CD ROMs & Multimedia Titles. Laura L. Armer, Adrienne Brown, Joel Gershon, and Pamela Thomasson (Senior Reviewers), and Marjorie Glass, Brian Harrison, Douglas W, Horner, Corolyn Huesman, Dan Laxton, Vivian Laxton, and Josh Sinton (Reviewers). McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-912052-0. 

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