Clear science writing, captivating visuals and excellent design—a winning combination.

READ REVIEW

GEOLOGY

With this app, Kids Discover continues to transform their print-magazine issues into multilayered informational experiences.

Right from the opening screen, this app grabs readers’ attention, panning across a striking photograph of glowing stalactites inside a cave, with eerie dripping sounds adding to the mystique. Full-color photographs, short videos, sound effects and excellent graphic design are used throughout to draw readers into short chapters examining different aspects of geology and the study of rocks. Beginning with a short look at “What is a rock?” chapters cover topics such as types of rocks, plate tectonics, the Earth’s four main layers and fossil formation. The text and many images were originally published in the Kids Discover magazine issue “Rocks” (April 2002), but several illustrations have been added, including an animated sequence showing the fossilization process. Interactive features pull readers in, encouraging them to tap icons to access photo captions, tilt the iPad to experience a 360-degree view of Stonehenge and take an interactive quiz. Unlike a more typical introduction that proceeds step by step, this informational app is better suited for browsing. The index is readily accessible from every page, helping readers jump from section to section. Websites and books for further reading are included in the backmatter for readers who want to dig deeper.

Clear science writing, captivating visuals and excellent design—a winning combination. (Requires iOS 6 and above.) (iPad informational app. 9-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 8, 2014

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Kids Discover

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2014

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DIARY OF A WIMPY KID

A NOVEL IN CARTOONS

From the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series , Vol. 1

First volume of a planned three, this edited version of an ongoing online serial records a middle-school everykid’s triumphs and (more often) tribulations through the course of a school year. Largely through his own fault, mishaps seem to plague Greg at every turn, from the minor freak-outs of finding himself permanently seated in class between two pierced stoners and then being saddled with his mom for a substitute teacher, to being forced to wrestle in gym with a weird classmate who has invited him to view his “secret freckle.” Presented in a mix of legible “hand-lettered” text and lots of simple cartoon illustrations with the punch lines often in dialogue balloons, Greg’s escapades, unwavering self-interest and sardonic commentary are a hoot and a half—certain to elicit both gales of giggles and winces of sympathy (not to mention recognition) from young readers. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: April 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-8109-9313-9

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2007

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Is this the end? Well, no…the series will stagger on through at least one more scheduled sequel.

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE TERRIFYING RETURN OF TIPPY TINKLETROUSERS

From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 9

Sure signs that the creative wells are running dry at last, the Captain’s ninth, overstuffed outing both recycles a villain (see Book 4) and offers trendy anti-bullying wish fulfillment.

Not that there aren’t pranks and envelope-pushing quips aplenty. To start, in an alternate ending to the previous episode, Principal Krupp ends up in prison (“…a lot like being a student at Jerome Horwitz Elementary School, except that the prison had better funding”). There, he witnesses fellow inmate Tippy Tinkletrousers (aka Professor Poopypants) escape in a giant Robo-Suit (later reduced to time-traveling trousers). The villain sets off after George and Harold, who are in juvie (“not much different from our old school…except that they have library books here.”). Cut to five years previous, in a prequel to the whole series. George and Harold link up in kindergarten to reduce a quartet of vicious bullies to giggling insanity with a relentless series of pranks involving shaving cream, spiders, effeminate spoof text messages and friendship bracelets. Pilkey tucks both topical jokes and bathroom humor into the cartoon art, and ups the narrative’s lexical ante with terms like “pharmaceuticals” and “theatrical flair.” Unfortunately, the bullies’ sad fates force Krupp to resign, so he’s not around to save the Earth from being destroyed later on by Talking Toilets and other invaders…

Is this the end? Well, no…the series will stagger on through at least one more scheduled sequel. (Fantasy. 10-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-545-17534-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 20, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2012

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