Moderately entertaining, though it might get stale after a few reads

SLICE OF BREAD GOES TO THE BEACH

A piece of sandwich bread combs the shore for treasures.

Slice of Bread, aka SOB (an abbreviation inscribed on his mailbox), loves to hunt for treasure on the beach, but he rarely finds anything of value. One Saturday he hops in his vehicle—a toaster—and dashes to the seashore to dig for valuables. Initially he doesn’t find much so he heads for the dunes, where he unearths gold bars, a massive diamond, pearls, a Van Gogh painting and a host of other worthless “junk.” Throughout the day he’s plagued by dangers: A huge wave engulfs him (thus making him soggy); a sunbathing stint turns him into toast; and a hungry seagull chases him around the beach. He survives it all, however, and meets Multigrain, who becomes his new treasure-seeking buddy. The premise of this story is outrageously puerile, which somehow gives it a measure of charm. Kids can help SOB scrape his burnt crumbs with a knife, rub butter on his sunburn and clean sand off his face. There are also a few hidden interactive elements that are relatively easy to find. A filmstrip index pops up when the SOB icon is tapped, making navigation simple. The Aussie narrator can be switched on or off, and pages can be set to turn automatically or manually.

Moderately entertaining, though it might get stale after a few reads . (iPad storybook app. 2-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 18, 2011

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Jelly Biscuits

Review Posted Online: March 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2012

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Safe to creep on by.

LOVE FROM THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR

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 GOES TO SCHOOL

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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