All in all, it’s lightweight fare that may elicit some giggles but not much more.

DABBY DILL & THE HICCUP PICKLE

Simple, amusing animations add some life to a fairly predictable story.

Dabby Dill just can’t stop hiccupping, so she turns to her family and friends to help her out. Her dad brings a glass of water, and Emma tells her to blow on her thumb, but nothing helps. Auntie NaNa finally offers a sweet suggestion that works. Digital cartoon illustrations add to the bright, cheerful tone of the story, although the color scheme is reminiscent of a Polly Pocket dollhouse. Each page contains several animations that readers trigger by tapping, but as they often lack any connection to story or theme, they will likely distract readers instead of adding to their understanding. Supplemental nonfiction text that provides information on hiccups, peanut butter and taste buds is revealed by tapping words underlined in red. Readers can tap words highlighted in blue to hear their definitions and examples. The narration in “Story Mode” is upbeat and fits the story, but it is haltingly slow in the “Read Along” mode with word highlighting for beginning readers. Although this story does not otherwise have a religious tone, Auntie NaNa tells her niece, “Don’t forget to say your prayers, Dabby Dill,” as the now–hiccup-free girl heads back home.

All in all, it’s lightweight fare that may elicit some giggles but not much more. (Requires iOS 6.1 and above.) (iPad storybook app. 3-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 27, 2013

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Pickled Productions

Review Posted Online: April 16, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A pro-girl book with illustrations that far outshine the text. (Picture book. 3-7)

I AM ENOUGH

A feel-good book about self-acceptance.

Empire star Byers and Bobo offer a beautifully illustrated, rhyming picture book detailing what one brown-skinned little girl with an impressive Afro appreciates about herself. Relying on similes, the text establishes a pattern with the opening sentence, “Like the sun, I’m here to shine,” and follows it through most of the book. Some of them work well, while others fall flat: “Like the rain, I’m here to pour / and drip and fall until I’m full.” In some vignettes she’s by herself; and in others, pictured along with children of other races. While the book’s pro-diversity message comes through, the didactic and even prideful expressions of self-acceptance make the book exasperatingly preachy—a common pitfall for books by celebrity authors. In contrast, Bobo’s illustrations are visually stunning. After painting the children and the objects with which they interact, such as flowers, books, and a red wagon, in acrylic on board for a traditional look, she scanned the images into Adobe Photoshop and added the backgrounds digitally in chalk. This lends a whimsical feel to such details as a rainbow, a window, wind, and rain—all reminiscent of Harold and the Purple Crayon. Bobo creates an inclusive world of girls in which wearing glasses, using a wheelchair, wearing a head scarf, and having a big Afro are unconditionally accepted rather than markers for othering.

A pro-girl book with illustrations that far outshine the text. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-266712-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

more