Maggie is an easy-to-love kid. She is, it turns out, the very model of a loving and loved sister.

MY SISTER'S NOT LIKE OTHER SISTERS

A young girl learns that the things that drive us crazy about our loved ones are often the things that make them wonderful in this well-designed lesson on sibling appreciation.

The bookish, tidy narrator tells readers about Maggie, her messy, adventurous, center-of-attention little sister, whom she insists is "not like other sisters!" Maggie, a firecracker with freckles, red hair and a talent for making silly faces, is also generous, attentive when her sister's sad, and brave on scary, dark nights. By bedtime, older sis has come to appreciate Maggie: "And every night we climb in bed. / While stars are dancing overhead. / Then in my ear, she whispers this: / 'I love you lots and lots, big sis!' " The illustrations throughout are crisp, colorful and filled with eye-catching background detail. Animations, especially of canine companion Pugsley, are simple and just-enough. Navigation is almost completely absent. Page swipes are fluid; large white circles appear briefly to clue younger readers as to where they might find spots to touch to make the characters act; and big, helpful arrows prompt when it's time to move on. Interactions beyond the app include a link to a website where readers can share their own sister stories and a store filled with merchandise related to the app.

Maggie is an easy-to-love kid. She is, it turns out, the very model of a loving and loved sister. (iPad storybook app. 2-8)

Pub Date: March 15, 2012

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Nabee Productions

Review Posted Online: May 2, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2012

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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless.

THE WORLD NEEDS MORE PURPLE PEOPLE

A monohued tally of positive character traits.

Purple is a “magic color,” affirm the authors (both actors, though Hart’s name recognition is nowhere near the level of Bell’s), and “purple people” are the sort who ask questions, laugh wholeheartedly, work hard, freely voice feelings and opinions, help those who might “lose” their own voices in the face of unkindness, and, in sum, can “JUST BE (the real) YOU.” Unlike the obsessive protagonist of Victoria Kann’s Pinkalicious franchise, being a purple person has “nothing to do with what you look like”—a point that Wiseman underscores with scenes of exuberantly posed cartoon figures (including versions of the authors) in casual North American attire but sporting a wide range of ages, skin hues, and body types. A crowded playground at the close (no social distancing here) displays all this wholesome behavior in action. Plenty of purple highlights, plus a plethora of broad smiles and wide-open mouths, crank up the visual energy—and if the earnest overall tone doesn’t snag the attention of young audiences, a grossly literal view of the young narrator and a grandparent “snot-out-our-nose laughing” should do the trick. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.4-by-20.6-inch double-page spreads viewed at 22.2% of actual size.)

The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12196-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

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