Probably best suited for eccentric folks and hipsters.

A particularly odd mix of photographs, graphics and sound bites offers clues about what mommies do when they go out at night.

The title of this app from France may raise a few eyebrows, but the raggedly translated text itself suggests that any dubious ideas or phrases may well be victims of language or cultural differences. Among other things, Mommy likes to “have a wild time with her friends,” confide in them about “her little belly that starts to sag” and chatter about everything from nail polish and shoes to concerns over being fat—all of which may resonate with American mothers, whether they’ll admit it or not. But Mommy also likes going to the theater, eating at a grown-up restaurant or attending a groovy concert. This app gets high marks for originality and quirkiness, and the concept is solid. The text explains Mommy’s “after hours” activities and does a fair job articulating the five w’s: who, what, when, where and why. Some narration is hyperbolically dramatic, particularly the girlfriend party, where tapping each woman prompts dialogue that ranges from desperation to high-pitched fanatical gushing. Each screen is an arbitrary mashup of photo images, illustrations, unsophisticated animations and interactions that will alternately intrigue (at least initially) and baffle readers. At least it’s not boring.

Probably best suited for eccentric folks and hipsters. (iPad storybook app. 5-10)

Pub Date: Dec. 7, 2011


Page Count: -

Publisher: Nexemble

Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2012


Charming and thought-provoking proof that we all contain multitudes.

Oscar winner McConaughey offers intriguing life observations.

The series of pithy, wry comments, each starting with the phrase “Just because,” makes clear that each of us is a mass of contradictions: “Just because we’re friends, / doesn’t mean you can’t burn me. / Just because I’m stubborn, / doesn’t mean that you can’t turn me.” Witty, digitally rendered vignettes portray youngsters diverse in terms of race and ability (occasionally with pets looking on) dealing with everything from friendship drama to a nerve-wracking footrace. “Just because I’m dirty, / doesn’t mean I can’t get clean” is paired with an image of a youngster taking a bath while another character (possibly an older sibling) sits nearby, smiling. “Just because you’re nice, / doesn’t mean you can’t get mean” depicts the older one berating the younger one for tracking mud into the house. The artwork effectively brings to life the succinct, rhyming text and will help readers make sense of it. Perhaps, after studying the illustrations and gaining further insight into the comments, kids will reread and reflect upon them further. The final page unites the characters from earlier pages with a reassuring message for readers: “Just because the sun has set, / doesn’t mean it will not rise. / Because every day is a gift, / each one a new surprise. BELIEVE IT.” As a follow-up, readers should be encouraged to make their own suggestions to complete the titular phrase. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Charming and thought-provoking proof that we all contain multitudes. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2023

ISBN: 9780593622032

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: June 8, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2023


From the Otis series

Continuing to find inspiration in the work of Virginia Lee Burton, Munro Leaf and other illustrators of the past, Long (The Little Engine That Could, 2005) offers an aw-shucks friendship tale that features a small but hardworking tractor (“putt puff puttedy chuff”) with a Little Toot–style face and a big-eared young descendant of Ferdinand the bull who gets stuck in deep, gooey mud. After the big new yellow tractor, crowds of overalls-clad locals and a red fire engine all fail to pull her out, the little tractor (who had been left behind the barn to rust after the arrival of the new tractor) comes putt-puff-puttedy-chuff-ing down the hill to entice his terrified bovine buddy successfully back to dry ground. Short on internal logic but long on creamy scenes of calf and tractor either gamboling energetically with a gaggle of McCloskey-like geese through neutral-toned fields or resting peacefully in the shade of a gnarled tree (apple, not cork), the episode will certainly draw nostalgic adults. Considering the author’s track record and influences, it may find a welcome from younger audiences too. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-399-25248-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2009

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