With only six screens, this story leaves much to be desired, both as a story for new readers and an interactive app.

READ REVIEW

LITTLE BABY BOB

This storybook app for beginning readers provides plenty of exposure to simple rhyming words, but it uses few of the iPad’s capabilities.

Like many babies, Bob loves to bang on pots: “Big pots and small pots, black pots or white pots, he likes the whole lot!” Bob tries to play with pots in his bedroom, in the kitchen and on the porch. Although the language is clear, the reliance on words that rhyme with “pot” overwhelms the meager story. The narration is enunciated but with a marked accent that may sound awkward to native speakers. This storybook app provides only minimal interaction, letting users tap a pot and a cot to see picture definitions. Beginning readers listening to the narration will not see words highlighted as they are spoken, a feature common to apps for this age that they will likely miss. Readers can tap on individual words to hear them pronounced or swipe across a selection to hear a phrase, though. The final page includes a simple coloring page, but the results are never incorporated into the story; again, it’s a common feature that children accustomed to storybook apps will be puzzled not to find. The artwork throughout is amateurish, with simple facial features, Kewpie-doll hair and a body shape that doesn’t quite seem like a baby’s.

With only six screens, this story leaves much to be desired, both as a story for new readers and an interactive app. (iPad storybook app. 2-6)

Pub Date: July 11, 2013

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Banjo & Sons

Review Posted Online: July 31, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2013

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Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S HALLOWEEN

A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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Yes, the Pigeon has to go to school, and so do readers, and this book will surely ease the way.

THE PIGEON HAS TO GO TO SCHOOL!

From the Pigeon series

All the typical worries and excuses kids have about school are filtered through Willems’ hysterical, bus-loving Pigeon.

Told mostly in speech balloons, the bird’s monologue will have kids (and their caregivers) in stitches at Pigeon’s excuses. From already knowing everything (except whatever question readers choose to provide in response to “Go ahead—ask me a question. / Any question!”) to fearing learning too much (“My head might pop off”), Pigeon’s imagination has run wild. Readers familiar with Pigeon will recognize the muted, matte backgrounds that show off the bird’s shenanigans so well. As in previous outings, Willems varies the size of the pigeon on the page to help communicate emotion, the bird teeny small on the double-page spread that illustrates the confession that “I’m… / scared.” And Pigeon’s eight-box rant about all the perils of school (“The unknown stresses me out, dude”) is marvelously followed by the realization (complete with lightbulb thought bubble) that school is the place for students to practice, with experts, all those skills they don’t yet have. But it is the ending that is so Willems, so Pigeon, and so perfect. Pigeon’s last question is “Well, HOW am I supposed to get there, anyway!?!” Readers will readily guess both the answer and Pigeon’s reaction.

Yes, the Pigeon has to go to school, and so do readers, and this book will surely ease the way. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-368-04645-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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