Sly might be considered beautiful, but this app is anything but.

READ REVIEW

BEAUTIFUL INSIDE AND OUT

This day in the life of a dog is sunk by substandard writing.

Sly is a cute, Chihuahua-like dog with a small body, large, perky ears, and hugely oversized, round, blinking eyes. Each screen depicts him in action, performing such normal daily activities as running, getting muddy and lifting his leg on a tree, as well as some unusual ones, such as skateboarding and sleeping in a bed with a pillow and teddy bear. The pleasant cartoon illustrations, unfortunately, are the only bright spot in this inferior effort. The text features stilted rhymes and near-rhymes and clunky cadence: “He sleeps and sleeps and always dreams, / with fatty, white and softy sheep.” The singsong-y narration only exacerbates the problems in the poorly written text. There is one basic tap-activated interaction per page, and navigation is simply page-forward and -back. The ending is a laudable message about self-esteem—“Sly has some flaws, as we all have. / But he is beautiful, inside and out”—but nothing in the text that leads to this will prepare readers for it, making it feel arbitrary.

Sly might be considered beautiful, but this app is anything but. (iPad storybook app. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 25, 2012

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Adriana Cerotti

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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There is no real story, but the moving parts are fun, and the illustrations are beautiful.

EGGS ARE EVERYWHERE

An interactive egg hunt with turning-wheel and lift-the-flap elements.

This board book begins by directing readers to find the hidden eggs. Each wheel—there are four in all set into the interior pages—has several different eggs on it, and turning it reveals an egg in a little die-cut window. Spinning it further hides the egg behind one of two lift-the-flap panels—two baskets, for example—and readers must guess behind which they’ll find the egg they have chosen to track. A diagram on the back provides instructions for use, likely more helpful to caregivers than to little ones. There is no narrative in this book; it’s simply page after page of different directives along the lines of “Guess which door!” As a result, the focus is really on manipulatives and the illustrations. Fortunately, Kirwan’s spring-themed artwork is gorgeous. The backdrop of each page is flower- and leaf-themed with warm spring hues, echoing the artwork of Eastern European hand-stenciled Easter eggs, two of which appear at the end of the book. The animals, like the smiling snail and mischievous mice, are reminiscent of classic European fairy-tale creatures. The only human in the book is a dark-skinned child with tight, curly hair. The moveable pieces largely work, though at times the necessary white space under the flaps interrupts the illustration awkwardly, as when the child’s hands suddenly develop large oval holes if the spinner is not in the correct position. Overall, it’s more game than book.

There is no real story, but the moving parts are fun, and the illustrations are beautiful. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4521-7457-0

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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Boynton’s classic board book, featuring her signature goofy animal characters and repetitive text, translates perfectly to...

BLUE HAT, GREEN HAT

From the Boynton Moo Media series

Four characters put on a winning fashion show that teaches words and colors to early readers.

Boynton’s classic board book, featuring her signature goofy animal characters and repetitive text, translates perfectly to an interactive format. An endearing cast of color-coordinated characters shows off shirts, shorts, socks and hats with a charming chorus of grunts, squishes and “oops-es!” Mr. Turkey never puts anything on in the right place, providing chuckles for parents and little ones alike. The background music is a simple, plucked melody (reminiscent of an old-fashioned Jack-in-the-Box) and combines well with Billy J. Kramer’s understated narration to enhance the fun of the experience. The photographic background of a suitcase full of clothes frames the white background of the book's pages without distracting from the book itself at center stage. Kids can play with the words and animals on every page and then really go to town on the second-to-last page, where they can “dress” the turkey from a dresser full of clothes. The satisfying ending includes a bounding dive into a cool, blue pool.

Pub Date: June 30, 2011

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Loud Crow Interactive

Review Posted Online: Aug. 10, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2011

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