A nonstarter, too limited of cast, jobs and gender options to compete with Taro Muira’s Tools (2006) or Kathryn Heling’s and...

PROFESSIONS

In a wordless gallery that is severely deficient in sexual and racial diversity, 12 cartoon figures model as many professions.

Differing only in hairstyle and outfit (except for a dark-skinned clown, the sole nonwhite character), each small, generic exemplar floats on a cream-colored screen, with characteristic tools or vehicles that are rendered as toys on right and left. Tapping sets off a gesture and a chuckle or other brief sound effect, after which a second tap will activate a second, repeatable, set of different ones. Aside from large buttons leading to the App Store at the end and the customary links to social media, that’s it for interactive features. Though most of the professions are signaled clearly enough—the construction worker leans on a pile driver, the chef flourishes a saucepan, the artist wears a beret—the medical professional examining a plush “patient” (the only recognizably female model) is more ambiguous, and both the police officer and the firefighter sport British-style headgear. There is no thumbnail index to make skipping around possible.

A nonstarter, too limited of cast, jobs and gender options to compete with Taro Muira’s Tools (2006) or Kathryn Heling’s and Deborah Hembrook’s Clothesline Clues to Jobs People Do (2012). (iPad toddler app. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2012

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: kidEbook

Review Posted Online: Oct. 3, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2012

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THE GOING TO BED BOOK

From the Boynton Moo Media series

Preserving the look of the classic board book—even to the trim size and rounded corners—this makeover folds new into old in such inventive ways that it may take more than a few passes to discover all the interactive features. Aboard a ship that rocks in response to a tilt of the tablet a set of animal passengers bounce belowdecks. First they take a bath featuring user-created bubbles, and then they brush their teeth using water so hot that the whole screen hazes up with wipe-able “steam.” Pajama-clad, all then wobble—or, tweaked by a finger, rocket—back outside for a bit of exercise before bed. (Readers control this part by twirling the moon.) In the finest animation of all, every touch of the night sky in the final scene brings a twinkling star into temporary being. Along with making small movements that resemble paper-engineered popup effects, Boynton’s wide eyed passengers also twitch or squeak (or both) when tapped. And though they don’t seem particularly sleepy or conducive to heavy lids, an optional reading by British singer Billy J. Kramer (whose well-traveled voice also pronounces each word individually at a touch), backed by soothing piano music, supplies an effectively soporific audio. “The day is done. / They say good night, / and somebody / turns off the light.” This is as beautiful as the developer’s earlier PopOut! Peter Rabbit while styling itself perfectly to Boynton's whimsy. (Ipad board-book app. 1-3)

Pub Date: March 7, 2011

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Loud Crow Interactive

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

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Another branded entry that offers little beyond the minimum requirements.

TRICK OR TREAT, POUT-POUT FISH

From the Pout-Pout Fish Mini Adventure series

The Pout-Pout Fish brand expands.

Halloween is here, and Mr. Pout-Pout Fish is giving out treats from his submarine home. Those familiar with the blue striped fish will find the usual uncluttered illustrations and rhyming scheme (“Who’s at the helm / of the spooky submarine? // It’s you, Mr. Fish! / Have a happy Halloween!”). New readers may be drawn in by the colorful costumes the various fish wear as they trick-or-treat along the ocean floor. Keen-eyed readers with some pumpkin-carving experience may wonder how a jack-o’-lantern can be lit under water. This board book is a fairly standard look at Halloween, putting a popular character in common holiday trappings and adding nothing else. Fans of the holiday will have to look elsewhere for a more exciting take on Halloween’s thrills.

Another branded entry that offers little beyond the minimum requirements. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 9, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-374-30191-0

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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