Thin soup, but perhaps useful as a prelude to seeing the film for the first time or as a keepsake afterward.

PETER PAN

From the Disney Classics series

So scanty is this condensation of the tale’s 1953 Disney version that the mermaids, the Indians (except for Tiger Lily) and even the crocodile make only cameo appearances—but there are plenty of interactive side features to compensate, along with art that looks like it came from a contemporary adaptation.

Enhanced by panning scenes, vigorous sword fights and occasional touch-activated animations, the pictures—rich in color and action, and done in an evocative period style—are the chief attraction. The text appears piecemeal and runs to lines like, “When Tinker Bell discovered Hook’s plan, she felt awful!” and, “…with happy thoughts, faith, trust and pixie dust, away flew the pirate ship.” Readers can view it silently or listen to either an avuncular narrator or a self-recorded version (with further personalization offered by uploading a photo onto a digital “bookplate” at the beginning). Children who aren’t being held by the skeletal plot will find scattered icons that lead to coloring pages, jigsaw puzzles, memory-matching games and a digital panpipe. A sure annoyance to most readers, though possibly helpful for those with profound attention issues, is the fact that touching or even swiping past any character at any time calls up both an audio and a floating visual ID that unnecessarily labels the characters ("Wendy"; "Peter Pan"; "Pirate").

Thin soup, but perhaps useful as a prelude to seeing the film for the first time or as a keepsake afterward. (iPad movie storybook app. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 8, 2012

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Disney Publishing Worldwide Applications

Review Posted Online: May 2, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2012

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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

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Inspiring, adventurous fun for aspirational kids.

SADIE SPROCKET BUILDS A ROCKET

A little girl’s imaginative plan to become an astronaut and be the first to travel to Mars really takes off.

Together with a crew of stuffed animals (owl, rabbit, and teddy bear), Sadie Sprocket does her research, gathers materials to build her spaceship, and, with support from family and friends—and media coverage—embarks on her historic journey. Rhyming quatrains tell the story of how Sadie patiently reads, cooks, and records important data during the 100-day interplanetary journey. And then: “The Earth behind, so far away, / was now a tiny dot. / Then Sadie cried, ‘There’s planet Mars! / It’s smaller than I thought!’ ” After landing and gathering 20 bags of samples, Sadie and crew are stuck in a red sandstorm while trying to take off again. But with Sadie’s determination and can-do spirit, they blast off, safely returning to Earth with future heroic space-exploration ideas in mind. Spiky cartoons transform a child’s playroom into an outer-space venue, complete with twinkling stars and colorful planets. Sadie presents White while her encouraging fans feature more diversity. An addendum includes brief facts about Mars and a handful of women space scientists. (This book was reviewed digitally with 11-by-17-inch double-page spreads viewed at 50% of actual size.)

Inspiring, adventurous fun for aspirational kids. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5420-1803-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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