Despite some room for improvement, this rendition lends itself equally to shared or independent reading and is likely to...

THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS

Though this adaptation of the classic cuts down on the original's more lyrical flights of fancy in favor of a closer focus on plot, the richly sentimental tone remains in full force.

Coming in at just under 200 golden-toned "pages" with chipped and discolored borders, North's abridgment drops some chapters (notably "Piper at the Gates of Dawn"), combines some others and simplifies Grahame's language without robbing it of its pastoral flavor. Nearly every other screen features a color or outline sketch illustration done in a distinctly Ernest Shepard–ish style—with, in most cases, the addition of touch- or tilt-sensitive animations. Enhanced by low-volume sound effects and snatches of music, these range from quick changes of expression and ripples in water to a wild, multiscreen motorcar joy ride and an image of Toad that can be clad in a variety of fetching dresses to expedite his escape from prison. The strip-index thumbnails are too small to be easily identifiable, but they do expedite quick skipping back and forth; less conveniently, there is no bookmarking. Furthermore, there is no audio narration, though links at the end do lead to complete print and sound versions of the classic. 

Despite some room for improvement, this rendition lends itself equally to shared or independent reading and is likely to become as well-thumbed as it already looks. (iPad storybook app. 9-11)

Pub Date: May 28, 2012

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bibliodome

Review Posted Online: June 27, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2012

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Simple, bella, un regalo permenente: simple and beautiful, a gift that will stay.

HOW TÍA LOLA CAME TO (VISIT) STAY

From the Tía Lola Stories series , Vol. 1

Renowned Latin American writer Alvarez has created another story about cultural identity, but this time the primary character is 11-year-old Miguel Guzmán. 

When Tía Lola arrives to help the family, Miguel and his hermana, Juanita, have just moved from New York City to Vermont with their recently divorced mother. The last thing Miguel wants, as he's trying to fit into a predominantly white community, is a flamboyant aunt who doesn't speak a word of English. Tía Lola, however, knows a language that defies words; she quickly charms and befriends all the neighbors. She can also cook exotic food, dance (anywhere, anytime), plan fun parties, and tell enchanting stories. Eventually, Tía Lola and the children swap English and Spanish ejercicios, but the true lesson is "mutual understanding." Peppered with Spanish words and phrases, Alvarez makes the reader as much a part of the "language" lessons as the characters. This story seamlessly weaves two culturaswhile letting each remain intact, just as Miguel is learning to do with his own life. Like all good stories, this one incorporates a lesson just subtle enough that readers will forget they're being taught, but in the end will understand themselves, and others, a little better, regardless of la lengua nativa—the mother tongue.

Simple, bella, un regalo permenente: simple and beautiful, a gift that will stay. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: March 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-375-80215-0

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2001

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KENNY & THE DRAGON

Reports of children requesting rewrites of The Reluctant Dragon are rare at best, but this new version may be pleasing to young or adult readers less attuned to the pleasures of literary period pieces. Along with modernizing the language—“Hmf! This Beowulf fellow had a severe anger management problem”—DiTerlizzi dials down the original’s violence. The red-blooded Boy is transformed into a pacifistic bunny named Kenny, St. George is just George the badger, a retired knight who owns a bookstore, and there is no actual spearing (or, for that matter, references to the annoyed knight’s “Oriental language”) in the climactic show-fight with the friendly, crème-brulée-loving dragon Grahame. In look and spirit, the author’s finely detailed drawings of animals in human dress are more in the style of Lynn Munsinger than, for instance, Ernest Shepard or Michael Hague. They do, however, nicely reflect the bright, informal tone of the text. A readable, if denatured, rendition of a faded classic. (Fantasy. 9-11)

Pub Date: Aug. 5, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-4169-3977-1

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2008

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