A & THE OR WILLIAM T. C. BAUMGARTEN COMES TO TOWN

Anyone can read A & THE—the words that is, printed in boldface throughout the text: but the child who looks for them assiduously is apt to lose the thread of a tricky story, while on the other hand if he doesn't see T & C and recognize them when tie sees them, he may miss the point. To a block very like the one where Nothing Ever Happened comes William T. C. Baumgarten. He looks a prig anyhow and "T.C." convulses Horace and Morris and Luke, only Doris having the good sense/ goodwill to ask what the T. stands for. They can of course make nothing of The (it's not short for Theodore; might T. refer—great giggles—to toilet?) until on tire newcomer's first day of school Miss Goodapple relates, at some length and with Bayeux Tapestry-like insets, the story of William the Conqueror. Instantly Morris and Horace and Luke take notice, and turn around beaming. Whereupon "William The Conqueror Baumgarten, Iris head held high, . . smiled back a! his new friends" (re)producing the grin on the face of the first William. That smile is almost worth the discomfort of being peppered with boldface letters (sometimes in signs like EAT) and exposed to a history lesson—though we were glad to see one scholar snoozing: Miss Raskin's insight matches her outreach and usually she balances the two better.

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 1970

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 7, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1970

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I LOVE YOU THROUGH AND THROUGH

Based on the 2005 board book, this Scholastic "Touch and Tilt" app retains the print version's sweetness and soothing tone. Told in simple, declarative rhymes ("I love your fingers / and toes / your ears / and nose"), the story is illustrated by images of a young boy and his adored teddy bear in various situations and emotional states. Adding to the mix, the iPad version features brief animations and sound on each page—one for the boy and one for the teddy bear when each are tapped. There are also animations activated by tilting the iPad clockwise and counter-clockwise, typically making the duo sway to and fro. The tilting animations sometimes get in the way of the touch animations, creating a delayed-reaction effect that may cause some frustration for its target toddler audience. Not every animated illustration works, stylistically; it's doubtful any fans of the book were clamoring to see the gentle bear do a headspin, for instance. But the app features calm narration, tinkling background music and illustrations so soft and fluffy they could be confused for high-thread-count bedding. Even the two-touch/two-tilt animations per page are reassuringly consistent. It's practically a sleeping aid in story app form. That's no knock; it's just fine for parents of restless readers at bedtime. (iPad storybook app. 18 mo.-5)

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2011

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Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs.

WRECKING BALL

From the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series , Vol. 14

The Heffley family’s house undergoes a disastrous attempt at home improvement.

When Great Aunt Reba dies, she leaves some money to the family. Greg’s mom calls a family meeting to determine what to do with their share, proposing home improvements and then overruling the family’s cartoonish wish lists and instead pushing for an addition to the kitchen. Before bringing in the construction crew, the Heffleys attempt to do minor maintenance and repairs themselves—during which Greg fails at the work in various slapstick scenes. Once the professionals are brought in, the problems keep getting worse: angry neighbors, terrifying problems in walls, and—most serious—civil permitting issues that put the kibosh on what work’s been done. Left with only enough inheritance to patch and repair the exterior of the house—and with the school’s dismal standardized test scores as a final straw—Greg’s mom steers the family toward moving, opening up house-hunting and house-selling storylines (and devastating loyal Rowley, who doesn’t want to lose his best friend). While Greg’s positive about the move, he’s not completely uncaring about Rowley’s action. (And of course, Greg himself is not as unaffected as he wishes.) The gags include effectively placed callbacks to seemingly incidental events (the “stress lizard” brought in on testing day is particularly funny) and a lampoon of after-school-special–style problem books. Just when it seems that the Heffleys really will move, a new sequence of chaotic trouble and property destruction heralds a return to the status quo. Whew.

Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3903-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 19, 2019

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