The audience for this app is probably college students looking for additions to their “bad English” collections, but will...

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BAD WOLF

A “cool” cartoon version of "Little Red Riding Hood" challenges both the traditional perspective and readers’ tolerance for imperfect English.

“Bad Wolf and the Little Riding Red Hood” is the English title on the opening screen of this multilingual (English/Spanish/Portuguese) iPad app by Label1, digital publishers from Brazil, though elsewhere “Little Red Riding Hood” (with and without “the”) appears. Readers will marvel at the misspellings (“snickers” for sneakers, “misterious,” etc.) and almost poetically awkward translation (LRRH: “Can you explain about your big nose?”  WOLF: “Your distrust doesn’t ring me a bell. My big nose, of course it’s to feel, it’s to smell.”). This modern Red Riding Hood, drawn with large manga-like eyes, wears a backpack and red hoodie, complete with white earbuds trailing out of a pocket. Grandma herself is pretty groovy, sporting a long gray ponytail (translated as "hair tail"), headband and peace symbol. Dramatic tension is attempted via sound effects (e.g., wind, wolf howls and menacing music) and heavy use of light and shadow. Visually the text combines enlarged cursive handwriting and small print, with no read-aloud option (amusing as it would be to hear) and minimal animation and tapping action.

The audience for this app is probably college students looking for additions to their “bad English” collections, but will they pay $4.99 for it? (iPad storybook app. 10 & up)

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2011

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Label1

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

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A brisk, buffed-up finish threaded with inner and outer, not to mention sartorial, changes.

THE TOWER OF NERO

From the Trials of Apollo series , Vol. 5

In this tumultuous series closer, Apollo, transformed into a mortal teenager, takes on both a deified emperor in a luxurious Manhattan high-rise and an older adversary.

Lester/Apollo’s coast-to-coast quest reaches its climactic stage as, with help from both eager squads of fledgling demigods from Camp Half-Blood and reluctant allies from realms deep below New York, he invades the palatial lair of Emperor Nero—followed by a solo bout with another foe from a past struggle. Riordan lays on the transformation of the heedless, arrogant sun god to a repentant lover of his long-neglected semidivine offspring and of humanity in general, which has served as the series’ binding theme, thickly enough to have his humbled narrator even apologizing (twice!) to his underwear for having to change it periodically. Still, the author delivers a fast, action-driven plot with high stakes, lots of fighting, and occasional splashes of gore brightened by banter and silly bits, so readers aren’t likely to mind all the hand-wringing. He also leaves any real-life parallels to the slick, megalomaniacal, emotionally abusive Nero entirely up to readers to discern and dishes out just deserts all round, neatly tying up loose ends in a set of closing vignettes. The supporting cast is predominantly White, with passing mention of diverse representation.

A brisk, buffed-up finish threaded with inner and outer, not to mention sartorial, changes. (glossary) (Fantasy. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4847-4645-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Oct. 22, 2020

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Essential.

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THIS BOOK IS ANTI-RACIST

20 LESSONS ON HOW TO WAKE UP, TAKE ACTION, AND DO THE WORK

A guidebook for taking action against racism.

The clear title and bold, colorful illustrations will immediately draw attention to this book, designed to guide each reader on a personal journey to work to dismantle racism. In the author’s note, Jewell begins with explanations about word choice, including the use of the terms “folx,” because it is gender neutral, and “global majority,” noting that marginalized communities of color are actually the majority in the world. She also chooses to capitalize Black, Brown, and Indigenous as a way of centering these communities’ voices; "white" is not capitalized. Organized in four sections—identity, history, taking action, and working in solidarity—each chapter builds on the lessons of the previous section. Underlined words are defined in the glossary, but Jewell unpacks concepts around race in an accessible way, bringing attention to common misunderstandings. Activities are included at the end of each chapter; they are effective, prompting both self-reflection and action steps from readers. The activities are designed to not be written inside the actual book; instead Jewell invites readers to find a special notebook and favorite pen and use that throughout. Combining the disruption of common fallacies, spotlights on change makers, the author’s personal reflections, and a call to action, this powerful book has something for all young people no matter what stage they are at in terms of awareness or activism.

Essential. (author’s note, further reading, glossary, select bibliography) (Nonfiction. 10-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7112-4521-1

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2019

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