Another tip-top turn from the creator of Treetop Ted (2011).



From the Frubeez series

The newest of the alliterative Frubeez apps introduces hat-happy Hannah, a googly-eyed lass with a taste for rib-tickling toppers.

Using a mix of photos and flat, silkscreen-style graphics, Callander creates a two-toned orange child with oversized eyes and a giant button in the middle of her tummy. Hannah models 18 types of headgear that range widely. A tartan tam has its own pair of eyes, and a sugary cupcake disappears bite by bite. There are bursts of flowers, twinkling halogen lights and a boom box broadcasting a funky beat, as well as a lollipop-chomping monster and a melting blob of goo. In a clever literacy-building feature, the lively audio narration doesn’t run automatically but is activated only by tapping the big, bright rhymed text on each screen. Tapping Hannah herself brings up a snatch of music or other sound effect, a bit of animation and a comment or giggle. Though the verse seems a bit forced at times—“She had hundreds of hats all stylishly fab. / She even had a hat for her pet hermit crab!”—its vigorous rhythms are a match for the art’s visual energy and the unusually quick, engagingly varied interactive effects. Hannah ultimately solves her storage issue by opening a boutique, and she joins her cheering stock to utter a “See you again soon” that’s likely to be as much an accurate prediction as a polite wish.

Another tip-top turn from the creator of Treetop Ted (2011). (iPad storybook app. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2011


Page Count: -

Publisher: Frubeez

Review Posted Online: Oct. 15, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2011

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


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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This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer.


From the Peppa Pig series

Peppa hopes to join her classmates in a Halloween pumpkin competition in this adaptation of a story from the popular British television program Peppa Pig.

With the help of Granny and Grandpa Pig, Peppa turns her giant pumpkin, which is the size of a compact car, into a jack-o’-lantern. The trio is flummoxed when it comes time to transport the pumpkin to the competition, so they call on Miss Rabbit and her helicopter to airlift the pumpkin to the festivities as Peppa and her grandparents ride inside. Peppa arrives just in time for the contest and wins the prize for best flying pumpkin. The scenes look as if they are pulled directly from the television show, right down to the rectangular framing of some of the scenes. While the story is literally nothing new, the text is serviceable, describing the action in two to three sentences per page. The pumpkin-shaped book and orange foil cover will likely attract youngsters, whether they are Peppa fans or not.

This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-33922-2

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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