A stellar—indeed, archival—addition to any library.

ALICEWINKS

ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND 150TH ANNIVERSARY ANIMATED EDITION

This sumptuous iBook presents a straightforward telling of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, accompanied by artwork that will send readers down the rabbit hole of delight.

It has been 150 years since Carroll trooped Alice before readers. In that time, there have been illustrations aplenty to go with the text, though arguably, John Tenniel caught the greatest fancy. There’s no Tenniel here, but a parade of gently animated artwork that delivers one pleasure after another. They appear in the form of short videos that convey the story read aloud, and in so many styles readers may wonder if the book couldn’t accommodate something by, say, Warhol, too. It is as though Carroll gave a great, inclusive, Whitman-esque hug to interpretation. Millicent Sowerby gets spooky; Arthur Rackham is all caricature and cream; Margaret Tarrant shimmers on the surface, like sunlight on a lake; Mabel Lucie Attwell is as Deco as a Tiffany lamp; Alice Woodward is mischievous; Gwynedd M. Hudson has the delicacy of a Fabergé egg; George Soper draws dreamscapes. Some of the animations of the old artwork can be a bit creepy—as the White Rabbit appears on the scene, for instance, he hops through four distinct illustrations, changing style with each—but then, so is the story. Chapter by chapter, videos precede sequences of still plates, which themselves precede the printed text. The nice, rich rumble of the narrator is counterpointed with voices of a young girl and strange creatures, all well-characterized.

A stellar—indeed, archival—addition to any library. (Enhanced e-book/fantasy. 6 & up)

Pub Date: April 18, 2013

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Walrus & Carpenter Productions LLC

Review Posted Online: May 29, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2013

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What a wag.

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DOG MAN

From the Dog Man series , Vol. 1

What do you get from sewing the head of a smart dog onto the body of a tough police officer? A new superhero from the incorrigible creator of Captain Underpants.

Finding a stack of old Dog Mancomics that got them in trouble back in first grade, George and Harold decide to craft a set of new(ish) adventures with (more or less) improved art and spelling. These begin with an origin tale (“A Hero Is Unleashed”), go on to a fiendish attempt to replace the chief of police with a “Robo Chief” and then a temporarily successful scheme to make everyone stupid by erasing all the words from every book (“Book ’Em, Dog Man”), and finish off with a sort of attempted alien invasion evocatively titled “Weenie Wars: The Franks Awaken.” In each, Dog Man squares off against baddies (including superinventor/archnemesis Petey the cat) and saves the day with a clever notion. With occasional pauses for Flip-O-Rama featurettes, the tales are all framed in brightly colored sequential panels with hand-lettered dialogue (“How do you feel, old friend?” “Ruff!”) and narrative. The figures are studiously diverse, with police officers of both genders on view and George, the chief, and several other members of the supporting cast colored in various shades of brown. Pilkey closes as customary with drawing exercises, plus a promise that the canine crusader will be further unleashed in a sequel.

What a wag. (Graphic fantasy. 7-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-545-58160-8

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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The message is worthy, but this phoned-in follow-up doesn’t add anything significant.

THE WORLD NEEDS MORE PURPLE SCHOOLS

From the My Purple World series

A color-themed vision of what school should be like.

In what amounts to a rehash of The World Needs More Purple People (2020), Bell and Hart address adult as well as young readers to explain what “curious and kind you” can do to make school, or for that matter the universe, a better place. Again culminating in the vague but familiar “JUST. BE. YOU!” the program remains much the same—including asking questions both “universe-sized” (“Could you make a burrito larger than a garbage truck?”) and “smaller, people-sized” (i.e., personal), working hard to learn and make things, offering praise and encouragement, speaking up and out, laughing together, and listening to others. In the illustrations, light-skinned, blond-haired narrator Penny poses amid a busy, open-mouthed, diverse cast that includes a child wearing a hijab and one who uses a wheelchair. Wiseman opts to show fewer grown-ups here, but the children are the same as in the earlier book, and a scene showing two figures blowing chocolate milk out of their noses essentially recycles a visual joke from the previous outing. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

The message is worthy, but this phoned-in follow-up doesn’t add anything significant. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 21, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-43490-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

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