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

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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

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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TEA WITH MILK

In describing how his parents met, Say continues to explore the ways that differing cultures can harmonize; raised near San Francisco and known as May everywhere except at home, where she is Masako, the child who will grow up to be Say’s mother becomes a misfit when her family moves back to Japan. Rebelling against attempts to force her into the mold of a traditional Japanese woman, she leaves for Osaka, finds work as a department store translator, and meets Joseph, a Chinese businessman who not only speaks English, but prefers tea with milk and sugar, and persuades her that “home isn’t a place or a building that’s ready-made or waiting for you, in America or anywhere else.” Painted with characteristic control and restraint, Say’s illustrations, largely portraits, begin with a sepia view of a sullen child in a kimono, gradually take on distinct, subdued color, and end with a formal shot of the smiling young couple in Western dress. A stately cousin to Ina R. Friedman’s How My Parents Learned To Eat (1984), also illustrated by Say. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-395-90495-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1999

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