Klutzy translation aside, most of Andersen’s literary flourishes are left intact, and they are nicely complemented by both...

THE MAGIC GALOSHES

A lightly abridged, lushly illustrated version of Andersen’s satirical tale, with diversions aplenty for tap-happy audiences and a text in serious need of further copy editing.

A pair of wish-granting galoshes is left in a cloakroom during a party by two elegantly dressed fairies. They in turn transport a Danish councilor (or, depending on the sentence, “counselor,” “councillor,” “counselour” or “counsilor”) to the unpaved—“What a mud! It is just the horror!”—Middle Ages, a watchman to the Moon and an “interne” into the dizzying hearts of a row of theatergoers. Later, a clerk is transformed into an unsuccessful playwright, and after a hellacious night as a tourist in Italy, a student temporarily dies. In the end the galoshes have “dissapeared” with one of the fairies. Along with hearts and leaves that drift over pages of text, tap-responsive details in the expertly painted illustrations range from a dramatic falling star and lights that can be switched on or off to a broad array of chirps, chuckles and exclamations. The text is available in English or Russian, and though there is no professional narration, parents are urged in an introductory note to use the self-record feature.

Klutzy translation aside, most of Andersen’s literary flourishes are left intact, and they are nicely complemented by both the visuals and the interactive elements. (iPad storybook app. 8-11)

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Intelligent Art Team

Review Posted Online: Oct. 3, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2012

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Simple, bella, un regalo permenente: simple and beautiful, a gift that will stay.

HOW TÍA LOLA CAME TO (VISIT) STAY

From the Tía Lola Stories series , Vol. 1

Renowned Latin American writer Alvarez has created another story about cultural identity, but this time the primary character is 11-year-old Miguel Guzmán. 

When Tía Lola arrives to help the family, Miguel and his hermana, Juanita, have just moved from New York City to Vermont with their recently divorced mother. The last thing Miguel wants, as he's trying to fit into a predominantly white community, is a flamboyant aunt who doesn't speak a word of English. Tía Lola, however, knows a language that defies words; she quickly charms and befriends all the neighbors. She can also cook exotic food, dance (anywhere, anytime), plan fun parties, and tell enchanting stories. Eventually, Tía Lola and the children swap English and Spanish ejercicios, but the true lesson is "mutual understanding." Peppered with Spanish words and phrases, Alvarez makes the reader as much a part of the "language" lessons as the characters. This story seamlessly weaves two culturaswhile letting each remain intact, just as Miguel is learning to do with his own life. Like all good stories, this one incorporates a lesson just subtle enough that readers will forget they're being taught, but in the end will understand themselves, and others, a little better, regardless of la lengua nativa—the mother tongue.

Simple, bella, un regalo permenente: simple and beautiful, a gift that will stay. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: March 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-375-80215-0

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2001

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Dizzyingly silly.

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE TYRANNICAL RETALIATION OF THE TURBO TOILET 2000

From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 11

The famous superhero returns to fight another villain with all the trademark wit and humor the series is known for.

Despite the title, Captain Underpants is bizarrely absent from most of this adventure. His school-age companions, George and Harold, maintain most of the spotlight. The creative chums fool around with time travel and several wacky inventions before coming upon the evil Turbo Toilet 2000, making its return for vengeance after sitting out a few of the previous books. When the good Captain shows up to save the day, he brings with him dynamic action and wordplay that meet the series’ standards. The Captain Underpants saga maintains its charm even into this, the 11th volume. The epic is filled to the brim with sight gags, toilet humor, flip-o-ramas and anarchic glee. Holding all this nonsense together is the author’s good-natured sense of harmless fun. The humor is never gross or over-the-top, just loud and innocuous. Adults may roll their eyes here and there, but youngsters will eat this up just as quickly as they devoured every other Underpants episode.

Dizzyingly silly. (Humor. 8-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-50490-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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