A minnow of a story at a whale of a price.

JONAH

This Bible story could’ve been spectacular on the iPad, but this version is about as exciting as watching paint dry.

Jonah doesn’t want to preach to the residents of Nineveh so he hops on a boat to escape. From there, the brief story unfolds in a rapid succession of events: God creates a maritime storm; the crew throws Jonah overboard; a whale swallows him; Jonah repents; the whale vomits him up; and Jonah finally delivers God’s message to the wicked Ninevites. The illustrations are pleasant but blandly uninspiring, and the only “interactive” feature is the ability to move a thought bubble around on one page, which—weirdly enough—leaves behind the severed arms of the would-be rioters Jonah is imagining. Scant animation is so slight it’s hard to detect without a lingering stare. The only thing worse than the technological and aesthetic deficiencies is the story’s shallow, reductive moralizing. The story begins with a declaration that Jonah is one of God’s favorites (a designation the Biblical text never makes) and in essence conveys that God has favorites and you won’t be one of them unless you follow the rules. Interestingly enough, the developers left out the part of the story where Jonah wants to die because he’s angry that God had mercy on the Ninevites.

A minnow of a story at a whale of a price. (iPad storybook app. 2-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 20, 2011

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: ZunZun Books LLC

Review Posted Online: March 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2012

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer.

PEPPA'S GIANT PUMPKIN

From the Peppa Pig series

Peppa hopes to join her classmates in a Halloween pumpkin competition in this adaptation of a story from the popular British television program Peppa Pig.

With the help of Granny and Grandpa Pig, Peppa turns her giant pumpkin, which is the size of a compact car, into a jack-o’-lantern. The trio is flummoxed when it comes time to transport the pumpkin to the competition, so they call on Miss Rabbit and her helicopter to airlift the pumpkin to the festivities as Peppa and her grandparents ride inside. Peppa arrives just in time for the contest and wins the prize for best flying pumpkin. The scenes look as if they are pulled directly from the television show, right down to the rectangular framing of some of the scenes. While the story is literally nothing new, the text is serviceable, describing the action in two to three sentences per page. The pumpkin-shaped book and orange foil cover will likely attract youngsters, whether they are Peppa fans or not.

This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-33922-2

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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