IT IS ALMOST TIME

With the onset of the digital age, with even wristwatches making a surreptitious exit from daily life, this app celebrates the many types of clocks that have marked time over the years.

Unfortunately, while one would expect some reference to telling time in a children’s book app about clocks—or at the very least some accurate correspondence between the time on the clocks and the text—this story focuses solely on the sounds that the clocks make. Throughout the story, a whimsical duo of horse and blue jay pass the time together swinging on pendulums, waking to annoying alarm clocks and generally introducing the reader to the various types and uses of clocks. The particular sounds of each of the clocks are cleverly rendered in onomatopoeic words, from the “Tickety-tockety” of small clocks to the “Bonggg! Bonggg!” of the grandfather clock. What is left to the imagination in the traditional book format (It's Almost Time, 2011) is enhanced by the actual sounds embedded in the interactive features of the app. A simple touch plays the sounds of the clocks and initiates the antics of the horse and blue jay. But in addition to the lack of instructional content, the paper publication’s other flaws remain, most significantly the disconnect between the text’s "one minute till cuckoo" and the illustration’s 10 minutes before 12. Although the boisterous illustrations do make it look like a lot of fun, there may not be enough here to bring back anyone but the youngest readers and true clock enthusiasts. (iPad storybook app. 2-6)    

 

Pub Date: May 17, 2012

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: June 20, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2012

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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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