Not much depth but enough breadth to keep little ones engaged for a short time.


Heavy snow gives a community of fun-loving polar bears a reprieve from school.

Most kids love it when school is cancelled due to inclement weather, especially when they get to play in the snow; the polar bears in this winter’s tale are no exception. They “go thump-thump-galumping” through the snow, make snow angels, throw snowballs at each other and “go flopping on the ice for a ride / balumping on their bellies, going slipidee-sliiiiiide.” In terms of interaction, this app doesn’t offer much—linear gliding movement, minimal tilt motion and rudimentary animation, for example. The illustrations are so cute, though (imagine a more primitive Coca Cola polar bear), that kids will probably enjoy just observing the adorable creatures having so much fun. Though readers can choose between “read myself” and “read to me” options, there’s a non-negotiable, bright and cheery soundtrack that loops in the background, a feature that would be nice to be able to switch off (or at least turn down). Kids are likely to enjoy the bonus “penguin attack” game for a short while, but it’s nothing spectacular. Perhaps the app’s greatest feature is that it’s dedicated to Conrad, the late illustrator, and a portion of the sale proceeds will be donated to cancer research in her honor.

Not much depth but enough breadth to keep little ones engaged for a short time. (iPad storybook app. 2-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 23, 2012


Page Count: -

Publisher: PadWorx

Review Posted Online: March 5, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2012

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Safe to creep on by.


Carle’s famous caterpillar expresses its love.

In three sentences that stretch out over most of the book’s 32 pages, the (here, at least) not-so-ravenous larva first describes the object of its love, then describes how that loved one makes it feel before concluding, “That’s why… / I[heart]U.” There is little original in either visual or textual content, much of it mined from The Very Hungry Caterpillar. “You are… / …so sweet,” proclaims the caterpillar as it crawls through the hole it’s munched in a strawberry; “…the cherry on my cake,” it says as it perches on the familiar square of chocolate cake; “…the apple of my eye,” it announces as it emerges from an apple. Images familiar from other works join the smiling sun that shone down on the caterpillar as it delivers assurances that “you make… / …the sun shine brighter / …the stars sparkle,” and so on. The book is small, only 7 inches high and 5 ¾ inches across when closed—probably not coincidentally about the size of a greeting card. While generations of children have grown up with the ravenous caterpillar, this collection of Carle imagery and platitudinous sentiment has little of his classic’s charm. The melding of Carle’s caterpillar with Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE on the book’s cover, alas, draws further attention to its derivative nature.

Safe to creep on by. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-448-48932-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2021

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Froggy's back (Froggy Learns to Swim, 1995, etc.) and on his first day of school, he wakes up late and goes to class in his underwear! No, that's only a dream—Froggy's parents wake him up just in time and they have breakfast together before leapfrogging to the bus stop. At school, Froggy gets a name tag, falls off his chair, and teaches the class—and the teacher—and the principal- -how to swim, an act that includes singing ``Bubble bubble, toot toot. Chicken, airplane, soldier.'' When his parents pick him up at the bus stop at the end of the day, they discover that he has forgotten his lunch box in school. `` `Oh, Froggy. Will you ever learn?' said his mother. `That's why I'm going to school, Mom!' '' The accessible writing has plenty of gratifying opportunities for funny sounds when read out loud, and is also endearingly wry: ``He liked his name. It was the first word he knew how to read. It was the only word he knew how to read.'' Remkiewicz's bright watercolors feature punchy, bouncy, bug-eyed animals wearing emphatically exaggerated expressions: This bunch is easy to love. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-670-86726-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1996

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