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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A smart, fresh take on an old favorite makes for a terrific series kickoff

THE GREAT SHELBY HOLMES

From the Shelby Holmes series , Vol. 1

A modern Sherlock Holmes retelling brings an 11-year-old black John Watson into the sphere of know-it-all 9-year-old white detective Shelby Holmes.

John's an Army brat who's lived in four states already. Now, with his parents' divorce still fresh, the boy who's lived only on military bases must explore the wilds of Harlem. His new life in 221A Baker St. begins inauspiciously, as before he's even finished moving in, his frizzy-haired neighbor blows something up: "BOOM!" But John's great at making friends, and Shelby certainly seems like an interesting kid to know. Oddly loquacious, brusque, and extremely observant, Shelby's locally famous for solving mysteries. John’s swept up in her detecting when a wealthy, brown-skinned classmate enlists their help in the mysterious disappearance of her beloved show dog, Daisy. Whatever could have happened to the prizewinning Cavalier King Charles spaniel? Has she been swiped by a jealous competitor? Has Daisy’s trainer—mysteriously come into enough money to take a secret weekend in Cozumel—been placing bets against his own dog? Brisk pacing, likable characters, a few silly Holmes jokes ("I'm Petunia Cumberbatch," says Shelby while undercover), and a diverse neighborhood, carefully and realistically described by John, are ingredients for success.

A smart, fresh take on an old favorite makes for a terrific series kickoff . (Mystery. 9-11)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-68119-051-8

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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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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