Better just to see the movie—though being able to hear Antonio Banderas declaim “I am Poos in Boots, and my name…would...

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PUSS IN BOOTS

A sketchy iteration of the 2011 film, crashatrocious (in this version of the app) but heavily stocked with stills, audio clips and interactive features.

Created as a prequel to the Shrek films (and an alternate to the Perrault tale), this episode unites Puss with his old orphanage buddy Humpty Alexander Dumpty and renowned thief Kitty Softpaws to steal magic beans and then the Golden Goose. Read silently or by an unenthusiastic narrator with selectable auto or manual advance, the text provides a wooden and sometimes disconnected summary of the action: “They staged a dangerous raid on Jack and Jill’s creepy, boar-driven wagon. It wasn’t easy, but they finally had the beans!” All of the 22 pages (except the last) feature links to strips of stills, many of which come with snatches of audio, and on several pages a touch of a small cat’s-paw icon activates a sound effect, a short animation that can be manually controlled or a drawing board that resembles a sandbox. So visually appealing is the finely detailed, richly colored art that readers may be inclined to shrug off the audio malfunctions or sudden shutdowns that too-hasty swiping or tapping engenders.

Better just to see the movie—though being able to hear Antonio Banderas declaim “I am Poos in Boots, and my name…would becahm…Legend!” at will makes this a worthy keepsake. (iPad film storybook app. 7-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 2011

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: zuuka

Review Posted Online: Nov. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2011

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What a wag.

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DOG MAN

What do you get from sewing the head of a smart dog onto the body of a tough police officer? A new superhero from the incorrigible creator of Captain Underpants.

Finding a stack of old Dog Man comics that got them in trouble back in first grade, George and Harold decide to craft a set of new(ish) adventures with (more or less) improved art and spelling. These begin with an origin tale (“A Hero Is Unleashed”), go on to a fiendish attempt to replace the chief of police with a “Robo Chief” and then a temporarily successful scheme to make everyone stupid by erasing all the words from every book (“Book ’Em, Dog Man”), and finish off with a sort of attempted alien invasion evocatively titled “Weenie Wars: The Franks Awaken.” In each, Dog Man squares off against baddies (including superinventor/archnemesis Petey the cat) and saves the day with a clever notion. With occasional pauses for Flip-O-Rama featurettes, the tales are all framed in brightly colored sequential panels with hand-lettered dialogue (“How do you feel, old friend?” “Ruff!”) and narrative. The figures are studiously diverse, with police officers of both genders on view and George, the chief, and several other members of the supporting cast colored in various shades of brown. Pilkey closes as customary with drawing exercises, plus a promise that the canine crusader will be further unleashed in a sequel.

What a wag. (Graphic fantasy. 7-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-545-58160-8

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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TEA WITH MILK

In describing how his parents met, Say continues to explore the ways that differing cultures can harmonize; raised near San Francisco and known as May everywhere except at home, where she is Masako, the child who will grow up to be Say’s mother becomes a misfit when her family moves back to Japan. Rebelling against attempts to force her into the mold of a traditional Japanese woman, she leaves for Osaka, finds work as a department store translator, and meets Joseph, a Chinese businessman who not only speaks English, but prefers tea with milk and sugar, and persuades her that “home isn’t a place or a building that’s ready-made or waiting for you, in America or anywhere else.” Painted with characteristic control and restraint, Say’s illustrations, largely portraits, begin with a sepia view of a sullen child in a kimono, gradually take on distinct, subdued color, and end with a formal shot of the smiling young couple in Western dress. A stately cousin to Ina R. Friedman’s How My Parents Learned To Eat (1984), also illustrated by Say. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-395-90495-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1999

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