Readers will be charmed as Harold draws himself in and out of trouble and finally home to bed in this subtle blend of...

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HAROLD AND THE PURPLE CRAYON

Harold takes a walk in the moonlight down the path of imagination and although this time the bunnies hop and the winds blow, nothing of the dreamy simplicity of the journey is lost.

Elegantly adapted by Trilogy Studios to the iPad and featuring the same minimalist lines of Johnson's 1955 original, this app allows children to join in as Harold wields his purple crayon to create his gently perilous adventure. Along the way, the many hidden interactions allow readers to animate the scenes, shaking apples from the tree and making the guard dragon catch them in his mouth. Kids can fill the moonlit sky with stars and zoom in on hatchling birds in the mountains; they can cause a swirling wind to fill the sails of Harold's boat and help him sample all nine flavors of pie. All the while, it maintains the flavor of a simple line-drawn story. When touched, most objects and characters are identified both verbally and in text to add an extra level of learning for early readers. Options include Read to Me, in which each word appears as it is spoken by the narrator; Touch Tale, a fully interactive version prefaced with a clear tutorial; and Read to Myself. All modes are accompanied by tinkly music.

Readers will be charmed as Harold draws himself in and out of trouble and finally home to bed in this subtle blend of animation and story. (iPad storybook app. 2-5)

Pub Date: July 30, 2011

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Trill Publishing

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2011

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Watching unlikely friends finally be as “happy as two someones can be” feels like being enveloped in your very own hug.

THE HUG

What to do when you’re a prickly animal hankering for a hug? Why, find another misfit animal also searching for an embrace!

Sweet but “tricky to hug” little Hedgehog is down in the dumps. Wandering the forest, Hedgehog begs different animals for hugs, but each rejects them. Readers will giggle at their panicked excuses—an evasive squirrel must suddenly count its three measly acorns; a magpie begins a drawn-out song—but will also be indignant on poor hedgehog’s behalf. Hedgehog has the appealingly pink-cheeked softness typical of Dunbar’s art, and the gentle watercolors are nonthreatening, though she also captures the animals’ genuine concern about being poked. A wise owl counsels the dejected hedgehog that while the prickles may frighten some, “there’s someone for everyone.” That’s when Hedgehog spots a similarly lonely tortoise, rejected due to its “very hard” shell but perfectly matched for a spiky new friend. They race toward each other until the glorious meeting, marked with swoony peach swirls and overjoyed grins. At this point, readers flip the book to hear the same gloomy tale from the tortoise’s perspective until it again culminates in that joyous hug, a book turn that’s made a pleasure with thick creamy paper and solid binding.

Watching unlikely friends finally be as “happy as two someones can be” feels like being enveloped in your very own hug. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-571-34875-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Faber & Faber

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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Though slight, this story has compensatory interactive components and characters that are time-tested kid-pleasers.

SHARK BITE!

Poor Mark the shark can’t make any friends because all the other fish are frightened of his teeth.

When a crab pinches Mark’s tail, Mark gets angry and yells for all the fish to come out: “If you won’t be my friends, then you’ll be my dinner!” At this, a concerned octopus reaches out to Mark, accidentally tickling him and making him laugh. When the other fish hear the shark laugh, they realize he’s not actually scary after all, and suddenly, Mark has lots of fishy friends. Each double-page spread has a slider, allowing readers to move the shark’s teeth up and down by pulling a tab, making him cry, chomp, and laugh. Companion volume Dino Chomp, also featuring big biting teeth operated by sliders, tells the story of a T. Rex tricked out of his dinner. Both titles suffer from flimsy plots and generic art, depending on the interactivity of the moving mouths to draw kids in. Considering how satisfying it is to make those teeth go chomp, chomp, chomp, though, it may be enough.

Though slight, this story has compensatory interactive components and characters that are time-tested kid-pleasers. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: June 2, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0107-1

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Little Bee

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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