Thoughtful design features make this an inclusive story that will resonate with many young children.

READ REVIEW

I IMAGINE

Children will enjoy becoming the stars of this customizable story, creating different versions for repeated readings.

The story presents a familiar scenario, as a parent juggles “a mountain of work” while a child asks for some playtime, but the highlight is how readers create their own characters. “We’re going to put you, a grown-up who looks after you, and a toy into the words and pictures of this story,” the female British narrator prompts. The app instructions direct children to record their characters’ names and choose gender, skin tone, hair color and outfit. They also give their characters faces by using a supplied cartoon illustration, taking selfies with the iPad camera or accessing saved photos. These design features make this a very inclusive story, allowing for combinations that reflect readers’ lives and imaginations. It should be noted that the characters’ middle-class domicile is not customizable. The rhyming dialogue does not quite flow smoothly with the recorded names, but children will enjoy seeing their hand-built characters in the story. In the end, the protagonist gives up on the parent, creating instead an imaginary game with the doll, realizing, “I’m good at finding games to play for two instead of one. / With my imaginary friend I have a lot more fun.”

Thoughtful design features make this an inclusive story that will resonate with many young children. (Requires iOS 6 and above.) (iPad storybook app. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2014

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bizzibrains

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

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A wandering effort, happy but pointless.

DRAGONS LOVE TACOS

From the Dragons Love Tacos series

The perfect book for kids who love dragons and mild tacos.

Rubin’s story starts with an incantatory edge: “Hey, kid! Did you know that dragons love tacos? They love beef tacos and chicken tacos. They love really big gigantic tacos and tiny little baby tacos as well.” The playing field is set: dragons, tacos. As a pairing, they are fairly silly, and when the kicker comes in—that dragons hate spicy salsa, which ignites their inner fireworks—the silliness is sillier still. Second nature, after all, is for dragons to blow flames out their noses. So when the kid throws a taco party for the dragons, it seems a weak device that the clearly labeled “totally mild” salsa comes with spicy jalapenos in the fine print, prompting the dragons to burn down the house, resulting in a barn-raising at which more tacos are served. Harmless, but if there is a parable hidden in the dragon-taco tale, it is hidden in the unlit deep, and as a measure of lunacy, bridled or unbridled, it doesn’t make the leap into the outer reaches of imagination. Salmieri’s artwork is fitting, with a crabbed, ethereal line work reminiscent of Peter Sís, but the story does not offer it enough range.

A wandering effort, happy but pointless. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 14, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3680-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2012

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Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture...

WHEN I PRAY FOR YOU

Turner adds another title to his picture-book series that highlights the miracles in the mundane (When God Made Light, 2018, etc.).

In the vein of children’s-bookshelf stalwart Oh, the Places You’ll Go, Turner’s rhyming text includes both prayers and life advice for a growing child, beginning with infancy and moving on to adolescence. At times the rhyme and meter are strained, muddling meaning and making the tempo feel occasionally awkward when read aloud. Overall, though, the book executes its mission, presenting Christian theological truths within the rhythmic inspirational text. For this third series installment Turner’s text is paired with a new illustrator, whose bright illustrations of wide-eyed children have great shelf appeal. While David Catrow’s previous illustrations in the series featured effervescent black protagonists, the child in Barnes’ illustrations appears white, though she occupies an otherwise diverse world. While illustrated as a prayer from a mother for her daughter, the text itself is gender neutral.

Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture books. (Picture book/religion. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-52565058-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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