An entertaining fantasy with a quirky, inventive storyline that shows how things invariably turn out badly for bullies.

Prince Iggy and the Kingdom of Naysayer

A lonely boy learns how to stand up against a cast of mean bullies in Fynn’s debut middle-grade novel.

Iggy Rose is living a life of hell at the Naysayer Academy. In a school where only bad children survive, not only are the children bullying him, but the headmistress is giving him a hard time, too. Poor Iggy is thrown down a garbage chute by the spiteful Teddy, where, unbeknown to his persecutors, he’s rescued by a mysterious man who insists that the young boy is a long-lost prince who must now stand up and reclaim his kingdom. That’s not going to be easy given that Iggy isn’t convinced he’s a prince and the King of Naysayer has stolen a magic ring from his finger. There’s plenty of knockabout farce to enjoy with Iggy’s new friends: a professor who’s losing his mind, a sea captain whose strength has diminished, a fortuneteller who can’t read the future, and the wonderfully named Henry O’Henry, whose poetic powers are wasting away. Only by reclaiming the ring and his throne can Iggy and his friends halt the withering of their powers and escape the evil Kingdom of Naysayer. The underlying message that bullying never pays is handled with skill, and a humorous approach keeps the story light. The black-and-white illustrations resemble watercolor sketches and possess a rustic charm that complements the tale. It won’t be long before readers are cheering for Iggy as he gets back at the nasty people who’ve made his life a misery at the academy. A second book, Iggy and the Tower of Decisions, follows the intrepid hero’s adventures in his new role as Prince Rose of the Rose Kingdom.

An entertaining fantasy with a quirky, inventive storyline that shows how things invariably turn out badly for bullies.

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2013

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 133

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services

Review Posted Online: Feb. 23, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

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THE GOING TO BED BOOK

From the Boynton Moo Media series

Preserving the look of the classic board book—even to the trim size and rounded corners—this makeover folds new into old in such inventive ways that it may take more than a few passes to discover all the interactive features. Aboard a ship that rocks in response to a tilt of the tablet a set of animal passengers bounce belowdecks. First they take a bath featuring user-created bubbles, and then they brush their teeth using water so hot that the whole screen hazes up with wipe-able “steam.” Pajama-clad, all then wobble—or, tweaked by a finger, rocket—back outside for a bit of exercise before bed. (Readers control this part by twirling the moon.) In the finest animation of all, every touch of the night sky in the final scene brings a twinkling star into temporary being. Along with making small movements that resemble paper-engineered popup effects, Boynton’s wide eyed passengers also twitch or squeak (or both) when tapped. And though they don’t seem particularly sleepy or conducive to heavy lids, an optional reading by British singer Billy J. Kramer (whose well-traveled voice also pronounces each word individually at a touch), backed by soothing piano music, supplies an effectively soporific audio. “The day is done. / They say good night, / and somebody / turns off the light.” This is as beautiful as the developer’s earlier PopOut! Peter Rabbit while styling itself perfectly to Boynton's whimsy. (Ipad board-book app. 1-3)

Pub Date: March 7, 2011

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Loud Crow Interactive

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

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A witty addition to the long-running series.

THE DEEP END

From the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series , Vol. 15

The Wimpy Kid hits the road.

The Heffley clan has been stuck living together in Gramma’s basement for two months, waiting for the family home to be repaired, and the constant togetherness has been getting on everybody’s nerves. Luckily Greg’s Uncle Gary has a camper waiting for someone to use it, and so the Heffleys set off on the open road looking for an adventurous vacation, hoping the changing scenery will bring a spark back to the family unit. The winding road leads the Heffleys to a sprawling RV park, a setting teeming with possibilities for Greg to get up to his usual shenanigans. Greg’s snarky asides and misadventures continue to entertain. At this point the Wimpy Kid books run like a well-oiled machine, paced perfectly with witty lines, smart gags, and charming cartoons. Kinney knows just where to put a joke, the precise moment to give a character shading, and exactly how to get the narrative rolling, spinning out the oddest plot developments. The appreciation Kinney has for these characters seeps through the novels, endearing the Heffleys to readers even through this title, the 15th installment in a franchise boasting spinoffs, movies, and merchandise. There may come a time when Greg and his family overstay their welcome, but thankfully that day still seems far off.

A witty addition to the long-running series. (Humor. 7-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4868-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2020

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