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. 3, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2012

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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 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2001

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What a wag.

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DOG MAN

From the Dog Man series , Vol. 1

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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