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THE ADVENTURES OF LEONARDO THE DRONE

BOOK 1: PHOTOS FROM THE SKY

An engaging, well-illustrated invitation to look at the world from a different—and higher—angle.

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A young girl discovers how a drone can enhance her photography skills in this series-starting picture book by debut author Purdy and illustrator Rodella-Purdy (The Little Gray Squirrel, 2019, etc.).

Leah is frustrated that she can’t seem to win the monthly photo contest at her local library. She loves finding new and different angles to capture images. Inspired by flying birds, she attempts to take pictures of things from above, using a number of tools with underwhelming results, before she buys a drone. She names it “Leonardo,” after Leonardo da Vinci, and experiments with flying it until she becomes confident in her skills. She then selects her favorite new drone-assisted photo for the contest. Readers will be unsurprised by Leah’s victory, but parents are more likely to appreciate how Leah devotes herself to practicing her craft. Purdy’s present-tense narration lends immediacy to Leah’s experiments, and the straightforward vocabulary and sentence structure will encourage independent reading. Rodella-Purdy’s cartoonlike digital images effectively capture Leah’s inventive problem-solving paired with her successful and failed photos. QR codes (not tested) offer readers a chance to see more drone photos online. A text introduction to drone technology is included at the end of the book.

An engaging, well-illustrated invitation to look at the world from a different—and higher—angle.

Pub Date: Oct. 29, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-9996842-4-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Creative Cat Media

Review Posted Online: Dec. 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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CINDERELLA

From the Once Upon a World series

A nice but not requisite purchase.

A retelling of the classic fairy tale in board-book format and with a Mexican setting.

Though simplified for a younger audience, the text still relates the well-known tale: mean-spirited stepmother, spoiled stepsisters, overworked Cinderella, fairy godmother, glass slipper, charming prince, and, of course, happily-ever-after. What gives this book its flavor is the artwork. Within its Mexican setting, the characters are olive-skinned and dark-haired. Cultural references abound, as when a messenger comes carrying a banner announcing a “FIESTA” in beautiful papel picado. Cinderella is the picture of beauty, with her hair up in ribbons and flowers and her typically Mexican many-layered white dress. The companion volume, Snow White, set in Japan and illustrated by Misa Saburi, follows the same format. The simplified text tells the story of the beautiful princess sent to the forest by her wicked stepmother to be “done away with,” the dwarves that take her in, and, eventually, the happily-ever-after ending. Here too, what gives the book its flavor is the artwork. The characters wear traditional clothing, and the dwarves’ house has the requisite shoji screens, tatami mats and cherry blossoms in the garden. The puzzling question is, why the board-book presentation? Though the text is simplified, it’s still beyond the board-book audience, and the illustrations deserve full-size books.

A nice but not requisite purchase. (Board book/fairy tale. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-7915-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 11, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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THERE'S A MONSTER IN YOUR BOOK

From the Who's in Your Book? series

Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit.

Readers try to dislodge a monster from the pages of this emotive and interactive read-aloud.

“OH NO!” the story starts. “There’s a monster in your book!” The blue, round-headed monster with pink horns and a pink-tipped tail can be seen cheerfully munching on the opening page. “Let’s try to get him out,” declares the narrator. Readers are encouraged to shake, tilt, and spin the book around, while the monster careens around an empty background looking scared and lost. Viewers are exhorted to tickle the monster’s feet, blow on the page, and make a really loud noise. Finally, shockingly, it works: “Now he’s in your room!” But clearly a monster in your book is safer than a monster in your room, so he’s coaxed back into the illustrations and lulled to sleep, curled up under one page and cuddling a bit of another like a child with their blankie. The monster’s entirely cute appearance and clear emotional reactions to his treatment add to the interactive aspect, and some young readers might even resist the instructions to avoid hurting their new pal. Children will be brought along on the monster’s journey, going from excited, noisy, and wiggly to calm and steady (one can hope).

Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6456-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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