THE BULLY BOOK

A conversation-starting app aims to ignite discussion via the experiences of three students who each describe a bullying incident from his or her own point of view.

To engage the app, users are prompted to select one of three characters, Ally, Pearl or Jeremy. Each character narrates an account of a bullying incident in which Pearl, who is autistic, is upset by Ally’s cruelty, and Jeremy comforts her. Watercolor illustrations of variable quality and limited interactivity accompany each narrative, also providing alternate angles and perspectives on the event. To varying levels, with Jeremy’s bordering on didacticism, each character weaves information about autism into their narratives. Gently prodding users to delve deeper, each story is followed by questions and answers that discuss the characters and attempt to explain some of their actions. Lastly, users are prompted to reflect on their own reactions to the characters and the presence of similar people in their lives. Seemingly tacked on and delivering little value are three minor interactive features attached to each character’s narrative, which include low-tech coloring pages, a jigsaw-puzzle activity and a challenge to find hidden objects within selected narrative scenes. A basic app that provides more of a traditional book experience than might be expected from the format but that has potential to provoke conversations about autism and bullying. (iPad storybook app. 5-9) 

 

Pub Date: July 20, 2012

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Do2Learn

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2012

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A larger-than-life subject is neatly captured in text and images.

THURGOOD

The life journey of the first African American to serve on the United States Supreme Court and the incidents that formed him.

Thurgood Marshall grew up in segregated Baltimore, Maryland, with a family that encouraged him to stand for justice. Despite attending poor schools, he found a way to succeed. His father instilled in him a love of the law and encouraged him to argue like a lawyer during dinner conversations. His success in college meant he could go to law school, but the University of Maryland did not accept African American students. Instead, Marshall went to historically black Howard University, where he was mentored by civil rights lawyer Charles Houston. Marshall’s first major legal case was against the law school that denied him a place, and his success brought him to the attention of the NAACP and ultimately led to his work on the groundbreaking Brown v. Board of Education, which itself led to his appointment to the Supreme Court. This lively narrative serves as an introduction to the life of one of the country’s important civil rights figures. Important facts in Marshall’s life are effectively highlighted in an almost staccato fashion. The bold watercolor-and-collage illustrations, beginning with an enticing cover, capture and enhance the strong tone set by the words.

A larger-than-life subject is neatly captured in text and images. (author’s note, photos) (Picture book/biography. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6533-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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ABIYOYO RETURNS

The seemingly ageless Seeger brings back his renowned giant for another go in a tuneful tale that, like the art, is a bit sketchy, but chockful of worthy messages. Faced with yearly floods and droughts since they’ve cut down all their trees, the townsfolk decide to build a dam—but the project is stymied by a boulder that is too huge to move. Call on Abiyoyo, suggests the granddaughter of the man with the magic wand, then just “Zoop Zoop” him away again. But the rock that Abiyoyo obligingly flings aside smashes the wand. How to avoid Abiyoyo’s destruction now? Sing the monster to sleep, then make it a peaceful, tree-planting member of the community, of course. Seeger sums it up in a postscript: “every community must learn to manage its giants.” Hays, who illustrated the original (1986), creates colorful, if unfinished-looking, scenes featuring a notably multicultural human cast and a towering Cubist fantasy of a giant. The song, based on a Xhosa lullaby, still has that hard-to-resist sing-along potential, and the themes of waging peace, collective action, and the benefits of sound ecological practices are presented in ways that children will both appreciate and enjoy. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83271-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2001

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