It's an admirable effort with more tales promised for future release; the whole thing could stand to be a little wilder,...



A small but growing set of Aesop's fables are collected in this app and given a too-literal, but serviceable reworking.

There's a glut of what might be called Aesop's apps for the iPad; developer Razeware LLC's take is that it'll provide a story or two for free and allow readers to pay for more tales within the app. Currently there are four tales; "The Crow and the Pitcher" and "The Tortoise and the Hare" are the freebies. "The Lion and the Mouse" and "The Fox and the Grapes" are not. The adaptations are spare and short, with morals clearly spelled out on the last page ("It's easy to scorn what we cannot have," reads the one for "Grapes"). The app's mix of sprightly woodwinds and New Age–y orchestral synth, a lack of spoken narration and minimal sound effects gives it a more austere feel than is perhaps necessary. The illustrated objects—mostly animals—are large, clearly defined and lovely, but as in too many iPad story apps, most of the interaction consists of tossing animated objects (grapes, pebbles, woodland creatures) across the screen as they float about in zero-gravity–like conditions. For "The Crow and the Pitcher," readers can fill the pitcher up with these drifty pebbles; in "Tortoise," the Hare zips across the screen in a puff of smoke when touched, but other animals move like they're swimming in an aquarium filled with gravy.

It's an admirable effort with more tales promised for future release; the whole thing could stand to be a little wilder, though. (iPad storybook app. 2-7)

Pub Date: March 24, 2011


Page Count: -

Publisher: Razeware LLC

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2011

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Genial starter nonfiction.


From the PlayTabs series

Panels activated by sliding tabs introduce youngsters to the human body.

The information is presented in matter-of-fact narration and captioned, graphically simple art featuring rounded lines, oversized heads and eyes, and muted colors. The sliding panels reveal new scenes on both sides of the page, and arrows on the large tabs indicate the direction to pull them (some tabs work left and right and others up and down). Some of the tabs show only slight changes (a white child reaches for a teddy bear, demonstrating how arms and hands work), while others are much more surprising (a different white child runs to a door and on the other side of the panel is shown sitting on the toilet). The double-page spreads employ broad themes as organizers, such as “Your Body,” “Eating Right,” and “Taking Care of Your Body.” Much of the content is focused on the outside of the body, but one panel does slide to reveal an X-ray image of a skeleton. While there are a few dark brown and amber skin tones, it is mostly white children who appear in the pages to demonstrate body movements, self-care, visiting the doctor, senses, and feelings. The companion volume, Baby Animals, employs the same style of sliding panels to introduce youngsters to little critters and their parents, from baboons to penguins.

Genial starter nonfiction. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-2-40800-850-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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It’s a bit sketchy of historical detail, but it’s coherent, inspirational, and engaging without indulging in rapturous...


From the Little People, BIG DREAMS series

A first introduction to the iconic civil rights activist.

“She was very little and very brave, and she always tried to do what was right.” Without many names or any dates, Kaiser traces Parks’ life and career from childhood to later fights for “fair schools, jobs, and houses for black people” as well as “voting rights, women’s rights and the rights of people in prison.” Though her refusal to change seats and the ensuing bus boycott are misleadingly presented as spontaneous acts of protest, young readers will come away with a clear picture of her worth as a role model. Though recognizable thanks to the large wire-rimmed glasses Parks sports from the outset as she marches confidently through Antelo’s stylized illustrations, she looks childlike throughout (as characteristic of this series), and her skin is unrealistically darkened to match the most common shade visible on other African-American figures. In her co-published Emmeline Pankhurst (illustrated by Ana Sanfelippo), Kaiser likewise simplistically implies that Great Britain led the way in granting universal women’s suffrage but highlights her subject’s courageous quest for justice, and Isabel Sánchez Vegara caps her profile of Audrey Hepburn (illustrated by Amaia Arrazola) with the moot but laudable claim that “helping people across the globe” (all of whom in the pictures are dark-skinned children) made Hepburn “happier than acting or dancing ever had.” All three titles end with photographs and timelines over more-detailed recaps plus at least one lead to further information.

It’s a bit sketchy of historical detail, but it’s coherent, inspirational, and engaging without indulging in rapturous flights of hyperbole. (Picture book/biography. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-78603-018-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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