A valuable interactive lesson with memorable characters. (iPad storybook app. 4-6)

WINCE - DON'T FEED THE WORRYBUG

This playful, multisensory installment in the WorryWoo Monster series teaches children to show their worries to the door.

When Wince, the monster of worry, begins fretting about his unfinished homework, whether he left the light on at home or just about anything else, he is visited by the incessantly buzzing WorryBug. With a voracious appetite sated only by munching on Wince’s worries, the WorryBug nags Wince to continue feeding him until Wince is incapacitated and the WorryBug has swelled to epic proportions. Finally, a trip to the library distracts Wince, and he is able to quell his worries, shrinking the WorryBug to a manageable size. Vibrant watercolor illustrations with Seuss-ian linework coupled with amusing audio effects, such as the gravelly but endearing voice of the WorryBug, and an ongoing sense of movement on each page compensate for the sometimes weak rhyming text. Although this app takes advantage of many forms of interactivity, such as the opportunity for users to record a worry and have it gobbled up by the WorryBug, it has a tendency to crash, especially when pausing on a screen for an extended period.

A valuable interactive lesson with memorable characters. (iPad storybook app. 4-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 6, 2012

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: iMagine Machine

Review Posted Online: Jan. 7, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2013

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A good choice to share with wriggly listeners, who will soon be joining in.

AT THE OLD HAUNTED HOUSE

A Halloween book that rides on the rhythms of “Over in the Meadow.”

Although Halloween rhyming counting books abound, this stands out, with a text that begs to be read aloud and cartoony digital illustrations that add goofy appeal. A girl and two boys set off on Halloween night to go trick-or-treating. As the children leave the cozy, warm glow of their street, readers see a haunted house on a hill, with gravestones dotting the front yard. Climbing the twisty path to the dark estate takes time, so the story turns to the antics inside the house. “At the old haunted house in a room with no sun / lived a warty green witch and her wee witch one. ‘SPELL!’ cried the witch. ‘POOF!’ cried the one. / And they both practiced spells in the room with no sun.” The actions of the scary creatures within may seem odd, but the rhyme must go on: Cats scratch, goblins dust, monsters stir, and mummies mix. Eventually the three kids reach the front door and are invited in for stew, cake and brew. At first shocked by the gruesome fare, the children recover quickly and get caught up in partying with the slightly spooky but friendly menagerie.

A good choice to share with wriggly listeners, who will soon be joining in. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4778-4769-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2014

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PIRATES DON'T TAKE BATHS

Echoes of Runaway Bunny color this exchange between a bath-averse piglet and his patient mother. Using a strategy that would probably be a nonstarter in real life, the mother deflects her stubborn offspring’s string of bath-free occupational conceits with appeals to reason: “Pirates NEVER EVER take baths!” “Pirates don’t get seasick either. But you do.” “Yeesh. I’m an astronaut, okay?” “Well, it is hard to bathe in zero gravity. It’s hard to poop and pee in zero gravity too!” And so on, until Mom’s enticing promise of treasure in the deep sea persuades her little Treasure Hunter to take a dive. Chunky figures surrounded by lots of bright white space in Segal’s minimally detailed watercolors keep the visuals as simple as the plotline. The language isn’t quite as basic, though, and as it rendered entirely in dialogue—Mother Pig’s lines are italicized—adult readers will have to work hard at their vocal characterizations for it to make any sense. Moreover, younger audiences (any audiences, come to that) may wonder what the piggy’s watery closing “EUREKA!!!” is all about too. Not particularly persuasive, but this might coax a few young porkers to get their trotters into the tub. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25425-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2011

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