The first Millie Was Here app (Millie and the Lost Key, 2011) was a giddy mix of plain dog photos, overlaid graphics and...

MILLIE'S CRAZY DINOSAUR ADVENTURE

From the Millie Was Here series

Canine explorer Millie here builds a time machine to avoid running late with a friend’s birthday gift, but she soon finds herself chased by a baby T-Rex. 

The first Millie Was Here app (Millie and the Lost Key, 2011) was a giddy mix of plain dog photos, overlaid graphics and hyperbolic storytelling that made the everyday life of a dog-about-town seem epic. That aesthetic continues here, but it’s been refined. There are still levers, dials, ribbons and springs that beg to be played with on well-built pages. But the story elements themselves have evolved nicely, especially a “Story Switch” feature that adds a reader-selected fork in the road leading to games that are part of Millie’s adventure. The navigation tray that slides up from the bottom of the screen is unobtrusive but genuinely handy. Other extras include a “Bedtime Mode” (which dims the screen and tones down the games) and clear instructions for parents, two app essentials that should be standard across the board. At the end of her first Indiana Jones–inspired adventure, it wasn’t clear whether her appeal would wear thin, but this latest story shows she’s still a great canine companion. Even the short video clips of Millie do not diminish the series’ homespun, handcrafted feel or lessen its playful touch. Millie’s misadventures could continue indefinitely if the exuberant storytelling and attention to detail hold to this level of quality. She’s a good dog with a great set of apps. (iPad storybook app. 4-8) .

Millie’s misadventures could continue indefinitely if the exuberant storytelling and attention to detail hold to this level of quality. She’s a good dog with a great set of apps(iPad storybook app. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2013

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: MegaPops

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2013

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Pete’s fans might find it groovy; anyone else has plenty of other “12 Days of Christmas” variants to choose among

PETE THE CAT'S 12 GROOVY DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Pete, the cat who couldn’t care less, celebrates Christmas with his inimitable lassitude.

If it weren’t part of the title and repeated on every other page, readers unfamiliar with Pete’s shtick might have a hard time arriving at “groovy” to describe his Christmas celebration, as the expressionless cat displays not a hint of groove in Dean’s now-trademark illustrations. Nor does Pete have a great sense of scansion: “On the first day of Christmas, / Pete gave to me… / A road trip to the sea. / GROOVY!” The cat is shown at the wheel of a yellow microbus strung with garland and lights and with a star-topped tree tied to its roof. On the second day of Christmas Pete gives “me” (here depicted as a gray squirrel who gets on the bus) “2 fuzzy gloves, and a road trip to the sea. / GROOVY!” On the third day, he gives “me” (now a white cat who joins Pete and the squirrel) “3 yummy cupcakes,” etc. The “me” mentioned in the lyrics changes from day to day and gift to gift, with “4 far-out surfboards” (a frog), “5 onion rings” (crocodile), and “6 skateboards rolling” (a yellow bird that shares its skateboards with the white cat, the squirrel, the frog, and the crocodile while Pete drives on). Gifts and animals pile on until the microbus finally arrives at the seaside and readers are told yet again that it’s all “GROOVY!”

Pete’s fans might find it groovy; anyone else has plenty of other “12 Days of Christmas” variants to choose among . (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-267527-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018

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A DOG NAMED SAM

A book that will make young dog-owners smile in recognition and confirm dogless readers' worst suspicions about the mayhem caused by pets, even winsome ones. Sam, who bears passing resemblance to an affable golden retriever, is praised for fetching the family newspaper, and goes on to fetch every other newspaper on the block. In the next story, only the children love Sam's swimming; he is yelled at by lifeguards and fishermen alike when he splashes through every watering hole he can find. Finally, there is woe to the entire family when Sam is bored and lonely for one long night. Boland has an essential message, captured in both both story and illustrations of this Easy-to-Read: Kids and dogs belong together, especially when it's a fun-loving canine like Sam. An appealing tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8037-1530-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1996

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