LOLA AND LUCY'S BIG ADVENTURE

Spectacular illustrations and digital diversions drive this sweet tale of two Vermont bulldogs in search of a purpose.

Having learned that dogs are supposed to have jobs and, from a peek online, that bulldogs were bred to hold bulls’ noses, Lucy and Lola embark on a cross-country quest. It takes them from Wall Street’s bronze bull to a dairy farm, South Dakota (in search of “Sitting Bull”), a western rodeo and other bullish locales—all of which are laid out on a retractable map of the United States. A laid-back California bull finally lets them take an anticlimactic grab (“His nose was cold, wet and not very exciting. ‘I guess it isn’t the same if the bull lets you,’ Lucy said”). He then clues them in before a happy closing reunion with their frantic human family: “A dog’s job is…to bring comfort and joy to the human heart.” The dogs’ wrinkled mugs steal the show in the photorealistic visuals, but the plethora of interactive elements aren’t far behind. Along with the map, a multi-entry encyclopedia of dog breeds, two paint boxes and 13 dexterity-based minigames, 286 animations or sound effects respond to screen taps (as an incentive to start over, readers are presented at the end with a tally of how many they found). Furthermore, the narrative is available in either “Picture Book” or “Chapter Book” versions, with optional audio readings and an auto-play option. A doggy road trip with nary a dull moment…no bull. (free sampler in iTunes) (iPad storybook app. 5-9)

 

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2012

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Pinkerton Road

Review Posted Online: Dec. 2, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2012

OTIS

From the Otis series

Continuing to find inspiration in the work of Virginia Lee Burton, Munro Leaf and other illustrators of the past, Long (The Little Engine That Could, 2005) offers an aw-shucks friendship tale that features a small but hardworking tractor (“putt puff puttedy chuff”) with a Little Toot–style face and a big-eared young descendant of Ferdinand the bull who gets stuck in deep, gooey mud. After the big new yellow tractor, crowds of overalls-clad locals and a red fire engine all fail to pull her out, the little tractor (who had been left behind the barn to rust after the arrival of the new tractor) comes putt-puff-puttedy-chuff-ing down the hill to entice his terrified bovine buddy successfully back to dry ground. Short on internal logic but long on creamy scenes of calf and tractor either gamboling energetically with a gaggle of McCloskey-like geese through neutral-toned fields or resting peacefully in the shade of a gnarled tree (apple, not cork), the episode will certainly draw nostalgic adults. Considering the author’s track record and influences, it may find a welcome from younger audiences too. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-399-25248-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2009

ABIYOYO RETURNS

The seemingly ageless Seeger brings back his renowned giant for another go in a tuneful tale that, like the art, is a bit sketchy, but chockful of worthy messages. Faced with yearly floods and droughts since they’ve cut down all their trees, the townsfolk decide to build a dam—but the project is stymied by a boulder that is too huge to move. Call on Abiyoyo, suggests the granddaughter of the man with the magic wand, then just “Zoop Zoop” him away again. But the rock that Abiyoyo obligingly flings aside smashes the wand. How to avoid Abiyoyo’s destruction now? Sing the monster to sleep, then make it a peaceful, tree-planting member of the community, of course. Seeger sums it up in a postscript: “every community must learn to manage its giants.” Hays, who illustrated the original (1986), creates colorful, if unfinished-looking, scenes featuring a notably multicultural human cast and a towering Cubist fantasy of a giant. The song, based on a Xhosa lullaby, still has that hard-to-resist sing-along potential, and the themes of waging peace, collective action, and the benefits of sound ecological practices are presented in ways that children will both appreciate and enjoy. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83271-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2001

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