A child-friendly tale, enhanced by pretty graphics and a large but unobtrusive set of side activities.

THE SELLER OF DREAMS

A boy on an errand buys a dream from an itinerant magician and gets his money's worth in this surreal, old short story.

Shortened and lightly adapted from a 1919 original, the episode takes young Peter without transition from a quick snack under a tree to a meeting with an aunt who is suddenly a queen with a magic castle in which, strangely, all the sumptuous furnishings are glued down. The reason for that becomes evident when, after a delicious meal and a fancy ball, the castle abruptly turns over—pitching the lad back to wakefulness. Aside from being both pinchable and spreadable (to full screen), each generically Disney-esque cartoon scene features just a few small, touch-activated changes of expression or other animations. These interactive elements being rather scanty, and despite a thoroughly mannered narration (a self-record option is available), the story itself is just as well experienced passively on autoplay. There is no strip index for quick skipping back and forth, but a strip of icons at the top of each screen opens multiple jigsaw puzzles, matching games, connect-the-dots pictures and coloring pages that have an unusually sophisticated paint box.

A child-friendly tale, enhanced by pretty graphics and a large but unobtrusive set of side activities. (iPad storybook/activity app. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 5, 2012

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Publisto

Review Posted Online: Aug. 20, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

JOHNNY APPLESEED

Though she never says outright that he was a real person, Kurtz introduces newly emergent readers to the historical John Chapman, walking along the Ohio, planting apple seeds, and bartering seedlings to settlers for food and clothing. Haverfield supplies the legendary portions of his tale, with views of a smiling, stylishly ragged, clean-shaven young man, pot on head, wildlife on shoulder or trailing along behind. Kurtz caps her short, rhythmic text with an invitation to “Clap your hands for Johnny Chapman. / Clap your hands for Johnny Appleseed!” An appealing way to open discussions of our country’s historical or legendary past. (Easy reader/nonfiction. 5-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-689-85958-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2004

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

There’s nothing especially new here, but the good-natured celebration of books, reading, and libraries will charm fellow...

THE BOOK HOG

A porcine hoarder of books learns to read—and to share.

The Book Hog’s obsession is clear from the start. Short declarative sentences describe his enthusiasm (“The Book Hog loved books”), catalog the things he likes about the printed page, and eventually reveal his embarrassing secret (“He didn’t know how to read”). While the text is straightforward, plenty of amusing visual details will entertain young listeners. A picture of the Book Hog thumbing through a book while seated on the toilet should induce some giggles. The allusive name of a local bookshop (“Wilbur’s”) as well as the covers of a variety of familiar and much-loved books (including some of the author’s own) offer plenty to pore over. And the fact that the titles become legible only after our hero learns to read is a particularly nice touch. A combination of vignettes, single-page illustrations and double-page spreads that feature Pizzoli’s characteristic style—heavy black outlines, a limited palette of mostly salmon and mint green, and simple shapes—move the plot along briskly. Librarians will appreciate the positive portrayal of Miss Olive, an elephant who welcomes the Book Hog warmly to storytime, though it’s unlikely most will be able to match her superlative level of service.

There’s nothing especially new here, but the good-natured celebration of books, reading, and libraries will charm fellow bibliophiles, and the author’s fans will enjoy making another anthropomorphic animal friend. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-368-03689-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more