The menus, navigation buttons (more blocks of wood in the shape of arrows) and the narration are all effective. But it's the...

READ REVIEW

A BEAR ATE ALL THE BRUSSELS SPROUTS

A boy makes up fanciful tales about what happened to his unappetizing dinner items in this distinctly designed, playful app.

When Timmy's mother gives him a series of items to eat, including parsnip bake, radish tart and the titular Brussels sprouts, he invents a series of imaginary animals that come in and devour the food so he doesn't have to. Told in rhyme ("A leopard ate my liver pie / Garnished with a tsetse fly. / Honest, Mom, I don't know why / That leopard ate my liver pie!") and illustrated by sleek, well-animated art, the story is one readers will relate to, given some of the items Timmy tries to pass off to his made-up menagerie. His mom, of course, catches on and tells him about the delicious desserts he'll miss due to similar pseudo circumstances. The interactive elements of the app are even cleverer than they seem; on one of the first pages, Timmy (and readers) flicks Brussels sprouts into the mouth of a hungry bear. Miss the bear's mouth, and he seems a bit dejected. Get it closer, and the bear chomps down. The illustrative style makes the app stand out from more cartoonish apps; Timmy's indoor winter wear, the heavy wood and concrete surfaces and even the hairstyles suggest a Scandinavian setting. Older readers may begin to wonder, with all the talk of hungry animals and the unusual menu, if Timmy is being raised by former IKEA designers gone survivalist-rogue. 

The menus, navigation buttons (more blocks of wood in the shape of arrows) and the narration are all effective. But it's the app's distinctive art style and the playful, hungry animals that make it worth a look. (iPad storybook app. 2-6)

Pub Date: July 4, 2011

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bite Studio Ltd

Review Posted Online: Aug. 10, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 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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Yes, the Pigeon has to go to school, and so do readers, and this book will surely ease the way.

THE PIGEON HAS TO GO TO SCHOOL!

From the Pigeon series

All the typical worries and excuses kids have about school are filtered through Willems’ hysterical, bus-loving Pigeon.

Told mostly in speech balloons, the bird’s monologue will have kids (and their caregivers) in stitches at Pigeon’s excuses. From already knowing everything (except whatever question readers choose to provide in response to “Go ahead—ask me a question. / Any question!”) to fearing learning too much (“My head might pop off”), Pigeon’s imagination has run wild. Readers familiar with Pigeon will recognize the muted, matte backgrounds that show off the bird’s shenanigans so well. As in previous outings, Willems varies the size of the pigeon on the page to help communicate emotion, the bird teeny small on the double-page spread that illustrates the confession that “I’m… / scared.” And Pigeon’s eight-box rant about all the perils of school (“The unknown stresses me out, dude”) is marvelously followed by the realization (complete with lightbulb thought bubble) that school is the place for students to practice, with experts, all those skills they don’t yet have. But it is the ending that is so Willems, so Pigeon, and so perfect. Pigeon’s last question is “Well, HOW am I supposed to get there, anyway!?!” Readers will readily guess both the answer and Pigeon’s reaction.

Yes, the Pigeon has to go to school, and so do readers, and this book will surely ease the way. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-368-04645-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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