A good-humored if bland adventure made slightly spicy through interactive add-ons—if readers can find them.

READ REVIEW

AROUND THE WORLD WITH LILUP

Soothing music accompanies Lilup, the friendly, white Great Pyrenees dog as he effortlessly floats above the Earth and under the sea, stopping on several continents to befriend local animals.

Lilup plays with a variety of critters, including penguins, lions, polar bears and even a butterfly before his shaggy paws lead him back home. Realistic illustrations fill the entire screen, providing a variety of angles, including several birds-eye views that add a pleasing sense of motion to Lilup’s adventure. At first this appears to be a simple, minimally interactive text, but selecting “I” in the upper-left screen (after choosing the "menu" at the top) reveals a link to a “hints” section. For readers unused to consulting directions to inform their reading, this section can be easily overlooked. Reviewing hints, which requires access to the Internet, reveals the text’s interactivity, which is not intuitive. For example, the hints demonstrate that by tilting the iPad readers can speed up Lilup’s pace or view more of the sky. The "My Library" feature enables users to record themselves reading the story. Users may save several versions of their recordings, allowing for personalization and to accommodate varied reading speed and special messages. There is a straight-up narrated option, which is well paced and synchronizes with red highlighting of the words.

A good-humored if bland adventure made slightly spicy through interactive add-ons—if readers can find them. (iPad storybook app. 2-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 16, 2011

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: VivaBook

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2011

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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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Little Blue’s fans will enjoy the animal sounds and counting opportunities, but it’s the sparkling lights on the truck’s own...

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S CHRISTMAS

The sturdy Little Blue Truck is back for his third adventure, this time delivering Christmas trees to his band of animal pals.

The truck is decked out for the season with a Christmas wreath that suggests a nose between headlights acting as eyeballs. Little Blue loads up with trees at Toad’s Trees, where five trees are marked with numbered tags. These five trees are counted and arithmetically manipulated in various ways throughout the rhyming story as they are dropped off one by one to Little Blue’s friends. The final tree is reserved for the truck’s own use at his garage home, where he is welcomed back by the tree salestoad in a neatly circular fashion. The last tree is already decorated, and Little Blue gets a surprise along with readers, as tiny lights embedded in the illustrations sparkle for a few seconds when the last page is turned. Though it’s a gimmick, it’s a pleasant surprise, and it fits with the retro atmosphere of the snowy country scenes. The short, rhyming text is accented with colored highlights, red for the animal sounds and bright green for the numerical words in the Christmas-tree countdown.

Little Blue’s fans will enjoy the animal sounds and counting opportunities, but it’s the sparkling lights on the truck’s own tree that will put a twinkle in a toddler’s eyes. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 23, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-544-32041-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

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