The Runaway Radish (who, spoiler alert, doesn't exactly make it out of the story intact) is entertainingly chaotic, and this...

RUNAWAY RADISH

From the StoryChimes series

Although markedly different in tone and style from most iPad storybook apps (though no less worthy), this English-and-Spanish tale of a food sculptor and a mischievous, fast-moving root vegetable is fun and has some features that make it worth multiple readings.

When Don Pedro tries to sculpt an elaborate scene, including a castle and knights, out of radishes, one of the veggies springs to life and runs for the hills. The ensuing chase, which eventually involves a donkey, a group of mariachi musicians, a chef and a street vendor is silly enough. But the reality-bending illustrations are appropriately over-the-top, and the giant radish's cry—"Places to go, people to see. / Out of my way, you can't carve ME!"—is catchy. In addition to the usual interactive features, including optional narration, a pop-up page index and mute-able background audio, it has two good options for younger readers. It can be read in English and Spanish and even includes bilingual flash cards for some of the words used in the story. But best of all, its "English learner" and "Spanish learner" options slow down the tempo of the narration, making it easier to follow along with the text. If there's a quibble with the app it's that the text's font itself is too small and doesn't serve the style of the art well. A matching game is included.

The Runaway Radish (who, spoiler alert, doesn't exactly make it out of the story intact) is entertainingly chaotic, and this “Gingerbread Man” variant is a good effort in both Spanish and English. (iPad storybook app. 3-8)

Pub Date: March 19, 2011

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Siena Entertainment

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

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ROOM ON THE BROOM

Each time the witch loses something in the windy weather, she and her cat are introduced to a new friend who loves flying on her broom. The fluid rhyming and smooth rhythm work together with one repetitive plot element focusing young attention spans until the plot quickens. (“Is there room on the broom for a blank such as me?”) When the witch’s broom breaks, she is thrown in to danger and the plot flies to the finish. Her friends—cat, dog, frog, and bird—are not likely to scare the dragon who plans on eating the witch, but together they form a formidable, gooey, scary-sounding monster. The use of full-page or even page-and-a-half spreads for many of the illustrations will ensure its successful use in story times as well as individual readings. The wart-nosed witch and her passengers make magic that is sure to please. Effective use of brilliant colors set against well-conceived backgrounds detail the story without need for text—but with it, the story—and the broom—take off. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-8037-2557-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2001

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Only for dedicated fans of the series.

HOW TO CATCH A MONSTER

From the How To Catch… series

When a kid gets the part of the ninja master in the school play, it finally seems to be the right time to tackle the closet monster.

“I spot my monster right away. / He’s practicing his ROAR. / He almost scares me half to death, / but I won’t be scared anymore!” The monster is a large, fluffy poison-green beast with blue hands and feet and face and a fluffy blue-and-green–striped tail. The kid employs a “bag of tricks” to try to catch the monster: in it are a giant wind-up shark, two cans of silly string, and an elaborate cage-and-robot trap. This last works, but with an unexpected result: the monster looks sad. Turns out he was only scaring the boy to wake him up so they could be friends. The monster greets the boy in the usual monster way: he “rips a massive FART!!” that smells like strawberries and lime, and then they go to the monster’s house to meet his parents and play. The final two spreads show the duo getting ready for bed, which is a rather anticlimactic end to what has otherwise been a rambunctious tale. Elkerton’s bright illustrations have a TV-cartoon aesthetic, and his playful beast is never scary. The narrator is depicted with black eyes and hair and pale skin. Wallace’s limping verses are uninspired at best, and the scansion and meter are frequently off.

Only for dedicated fans of the series. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4926-4894-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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