The photographs are enticingly grand and bright, but the covering story and the software still have far to go.

THE ISTANBUL ADVENTURE WITH BRUCE THE GOOSE

Now a tour, now a chase and much in need of copy editing, this helter-skelter introduction to Istanbul presents the city’s highlights with more enthusiasm than grace.

A stray goose alternately pursued and squired by two street cats named Fatty and Misty hits all the major sights in turn, from Topkapi Palace and the Bosphorus to Hagia Sophia and funky Istiklal Street. Each loosely drawn cartoon scene features atmospheric music or street noise and tap-activated meows or other sound effects. Most also include flashing links that open large inset photos (also available in a separate gallery, but labeled only with numbers on the index map) with explanatory commentary (that often features variant spellings). The main text, which is printed in different sizes and jammed higgledy-piggledy into any space available, comes in rhymed English or Turkish (a dead link to a German text implies a third language to come). It is read by an animated narrator and offers (in English, anyway) lines like “ ‘Look,’ cried Fatty, ‘there he goes.’ / ‘Into the Grand Bazaar’s wild throes,’ [sic] ” plus an unhappily phrased reference to “thousands of different fish floating in the water” of the Basilica Cistern. Furthermore, the app tends to crash if the pages are swiped too fast.

The photographs are enticingly grand and bright, but the covering story and the software still have far to go. (iPad informational app. 7-9)

Pub Date: May 24, 2012

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Manolin

Review Posted Online: June 27, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2012

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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 Man comics 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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A fitting farewell, still funny, acute, and positive in its view of human nature even in its 37th episode.

HORRIBLE HARRY SAYS GOODBYE

From the Horrible Harry series , Vol. 37

A long-running series reaches its closing chapters.

Having, as Kline notes in her warm valedictory acknowledgements, taken 30 years to get through second and third grade, Harry Spooger is overdue to move on—but not just into fourth grade, it turns out, as his family is moving to another town as soon as the school year ends. The news leaves his best friend, narrator “Dougo,” devastated…particularly as Harry doesn’t seem all that fussed about it. With series fans in mind, the author takes Harry through a sort of last-day-of-school farewell tour. From his desk he pulls a burned hot dog and other items that featured in past episodes, says goodbye to Song Lee and other classmates, and even (for the first time ever) leads Doug and readers into his house and memento-strewn room for further reminiscing. Of course, Harry isn’t as blasé about the move as he pretends, and eyes aren’t exactly dry when he departs. But hardly is he out of sight before Doug is meeting Mohammad, a new neighbor from Syria who (along with further diversifying a cast that began as mostly white but has become increasingly multiethnic over the years) will also be starting fourth grade at summer’s end, and planning a written account of his “horrible” buddy’s exploits. Finished illustrations not seen.

A fitting farewell, still funny, acute, and positive in its view of human nature even in its 37th episode. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Nov. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-451-47963-1

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

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