In a sea of interactive homogeny, this is a rare gem.

READ REVIEW

LIL' RED

A refreshingly distinctive take on the classic European fairy tale.

The plot and substance of this story are nearly identical to what has been told for centuries. In this version, however, developers have assembled a winning trio of music, illustrations and interactions that help breathe new life into the familiar tale. All graphics are grayscale, peppered with various shades of red, providing atypically lovely visual scenery. The wolf is deliciously sinister, lurking around and rubbing his paws as he anticipates eating Lil’ Red, who has anime eyes that occasionally shoot readers a would-you-hurry-up-and-tap-things look when the screen is idle for too long. The story is told with visual speech balloons, meaning there are no words, only simple graphics that ably move the story along (and also remove any potential age or language barriers.) Much as in Peter and the Wolf, various instruments represent each character, including a string bass (wolf), a clarinet (Grandma) and xylophone (Lil’ Red). There are other cool nuances, including a mushroom patch that yields trombone tones, and a host of small interactions involving both creatures and objects. Great attention has been given to detail—a creaking swing or the delicate sound of footsteps, for example—that fortify the overall experience.

In a sea of interactive homogeny, this is a rare gem.   (for iPad 2 and above) (iPad storybook app. 1-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2012

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Brian Main

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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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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THE GOING TO BED BOOK

From the Boynton Moo Media series

Preserving the look of the classic board book—even to the trim size and rounded corners—this makeover folds new into old in such inventive ways that it may take more than a few passes to discover all the interactive features. Aboard a ship that rocks in response to a tilt of the tablet a set of animal passengers bounce belowdecks. First they take a bath featuring user-created bubbles, and then they brush their teeth using water so hot that the whole screen hazes up with wipe-able “steam.” Pajama-clad, all then wobble—or, tweaked by a finger, rocket—back outside for a bit of exercise before bed. (Readers control this part by twirling the moon.) In the finest animation of all, every touch of the night sky in the final scene brings a twinkling star into temporary being. Along with making small movements that resemble paper-engineered popup effects, Boynton’s wide eyed passengers also twitch or squeak (or both) when tapped. And though they don’t seem particularly sleepy or conducive to heavy lids, an optional reading by British singer Billy J. Kramer (whose well-traveled voice also pronounces each word individually at a touch), backed by soothing piano music, supplies an effectively soporific audio. “The day is done. / They say good night, / and somebody / turns off the light.” This is as beautiful as the developer’s earlier PopOut! Peter Rabbit while styling itself perfectly to Boynton's whimsy. (Ipad board-book app. 1-3)

Pub Date: March 7, 2011

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Loud Crow Interactive

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

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