A dark fairy tale that snakes through the multiverse while maintaining the familiar tropes of legend.

THE MEMORY THEATER

Two children who are growing up set out on a journey to find escape, home, and revenge.

When Augusta stole Thistle’s name, she trapped him in the Gardens, forcing him to work as a servant until he grows up, though even that will bring no freedom: Unwanted servants become fodder for the hunt. The servants’ masters, however, never grow old, because the Gardens exist out of time, allowing the lords and ladies to endlessly relive their revels. Thistle’s other task is protecting his friend Dora, daughter of the earth, who is neither a servant nor a master. Then, when Thistle’s mistress, Augusta Prima—first seen in Tidbeck’s short story of the same name in Weird Tales (2011)—asks him to explain time, things in the Gardens begin to change. The appearance of a mysterious trader and traveler of the multiverse allows Thistle and Dora to escape, but Thistle is still without his name, and so they must search for Augusta, who holds the key to his past. Along the way, they encounter the Memory Theater, whose plays tell the story of all the worlds, as well as other creatures of myth and folklore. Augusta, meanwhile, has done some exploring of her own, leaving destruction in her wake. Tidbeck pieces together multiple worlds against a background of Swedish folktales and history. The fairy-tale quality of the prose adds to the folkloric themes of the novel but creates distance from the characters, who never develop true depth. Nevertheless, the strange and unique cast and the twists of the plot between weird and recognizable landscapes make for a satisfying read.

A dark fairy tale that snakes through the multiverse while maintaining the familiar tropes of legend.

Pub Date: Feb. 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-524-74833-3

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Pantheon

Review Posted Online: Dec. 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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I LOVE YOU THROUGH AND THROUGH

Based on the 2005 board book, this Scholastic "Touch and Tilt" app retains the print version's sweetness and soothing tone. Told in simple, declarative rhymes ("I love your fingers / and toes / your ears / and nose"), the story is illustrated by images of a young boy and his adored teddy bear in various situations and emotional states. Adding to the mix, the iPad version features brief animations and sound on each page—one for the boy and one for the teddy bear when each are tapped. There are also animations activated by tilting the iPad clockwise and counter-clockwise, typically making the duo sway to and fro. The tilting animations sometimes get in the way of the touch animations, creating a delayed-reaction effect that may cause some frustration for its target toddler audience. Not every animated illustration works, stylistically; it's doubtful any fans of the book were clamoring to see the gentle bear do a headspin, for instance. But the app features calm narration, tinkling background music and illustrations so soft and fluffy they could be confused for high-thread-count bedding. Even the two-touch/two-tilt animations per page are reassuringly consistent. It's practically a sleeping aid in story app form. That's no knock; it's just fine for parents of restless readers at bedtime. (iPad storybook app. 18 mo.-5)

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2011

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When anyone attempts to enhance and reformat a book that’s already sold more than five million copies, there’s some risk...

MOO, BAA, LA LA LA!

From the Boynton Moo Media series

The iPad adaption of Boynton’s bestselling board book surveys animals and the sounds they make.

When anyone attempts to enhance and reformat a book that’s already sold more than five million copies, there’s some risk involved. What if it doesn’t translate well? Worse yet, what if it flops? Fortunately, Loud Crow Interactive and Boynton don’t have to worry about that. There’s no hint of a sophomore slump in this second installment of the Boynton Moo Media series. Much like its predecessor, The Going to Bed Book (2011), this app adapts the illustrator’s trademark creatures for iPad in a way few other developers can. The animals are fluid and pliable, which is no small feat given that they’re on a flat display. Readers can jiggle them, hurl them off screen, elicit animal sounds and in some cases make them sing (in a perfect inverted triad!). Melodic violin music accompanies the entire story, which is deftly narrated by Boynton’s son, Keith. In addition to the author’s simple yet charming prose there are little surprises sprinkled throughout that extend the wit that’s won countless babies and parents over in paper form.

Pub Date: April 19, 2011

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Loud Crow Interactive

Review Posted Online: May 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2011

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