Although the alternative narrative tries a little too hard to explain the morals of the story, this is a clever update of a...

GRIMM'S FROG KING

This version of the traditional Grimm Brothers' fairy tale of a frog under a curse and the self-absorbed princess he needs to save him offers an alternative reading and lots of extras.

Read the familiar story through, then start over with the "Version with a Funny Twist," which provides a running commentary and an alternative ending. This format explores the morals of the story while questioning the archaic "princess marries the handsome prince and lives happily ever after" theme. Amid the sounds of chirping frogs, the optional British-accented narration (also available in German) transports readers to the royal gardens. Filled with humans and amphibians that vocalize when touched, the detailed and brightly colored illustrations can be enlarged for closer viewing—and readers are advised to look closely, as some of those details appear in a quiz at the end. Fairy-dust clues are easily spotted by little ones and indicate the simple touch and tilt animations. The games and jokes in the extras section are more fun than the story itself and include a fact page about frogs and toads and a prize to be won if the quiz is completed correctly.

Although the alternative narrative tries a little too hard to explain the morals of the story, this is a clever update of a classic that allows young readers to question old stereotypes. (iPad storybook app. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 31, 2012

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: JustKidsApps

Review Posted Online: June 27, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2012

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Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with...

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CREEPY PAIR OF UNDERWEAR!

Reynolds and Brown have crafted a Halloween tale that balances a really spooky premise with the hilarity that accompanies any mention of underwear.

Jasper Rabbit needs new underwear. Plain White satisfies him until he spies them: “Creepy underwear! So creepy! So comfy! They were glorious.” The underwear of his dreams is a pair of radioactive-green briefs with a Frankenstein face on the front, the green color standing out all the more due to Brown’s choice to do the entire book in grayscale save for the underwear’s glowing green…and glow they do, as Jasper soon discovers. Despite his “I’m a big rabbit” assertion, that glow creeps him out, so he stuffs them in the hamper and dons Plain White. In the morning, though, he’s wearing green! He goes to increasing lengths to get rid of the glowing menace, but they don’t stay gone. It’s only when Jasper finally admits to himself that maybe he’s not such a big rabbit after all that he thinks of a clever solution to his fear of the dark. Brown’s illustrations keep the backgrounds and details simple so readers focus on Jasper’s every emotion, writ large on his expressive face. And careful observers will note that the underwear’s expression also changes, adding a bit more creep to the tale.

Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with Dr. Seuss’ tale of animate, empty pants. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4424-0298-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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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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