There are many apps with more options, extras and dazzling art and sound, but despite its similarity to "Heads, Shoulders,...

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TAIL TOES EYES EARS NOSE

A simple, easy-to-navigate app featuring an assortment of animals and the titular body parts they have in common is no-frills enough to please toddlers, though parents may wish it offered a little more.

In a unique approach, each of the app's pages shows an animal’s tail, toes, eyes, ears and nose, but with the main body missing. Though the shapes of birds, elephants, cats and people aren't too difficult for even small children to figure out, the illustrations then fill in the blank once the body parts have been explored. The app includes optional narration and an "autoplay" option, but it's short and simple enough to warrant taking some time to play with each page. Once the animal is revealed, the child narrator makes a noise approximating that animal’s, a winning choice when canned sound effects would have been easier and more obvious. On the last pages, a person joins the fun and the animals (and their human friend) all walk off together. Altogether, it's a more harmonious wedding of interaction to source material than some of Auracle’s others.

There are many apps with more options, extras and dazzling art and sound, but despite its similarity to "Heads, Shoulders, Knees, And Toes," it feels just homespun and direct enough to charm. (iPad storybook app. 1-4)

Pub Date: July 8, 2011

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Auryn

Review Posted Online: Aug. 15, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S HALLOWEEN

A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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A pleasant holiday spent with a perfectly charming character.

SPOOKY POOKIE

One of Boynton's signature characters celebrates Halloween.

It's Halloween time, and Pookie the pig is delighted. Mom helps the little porker pick out the perfect Halloween costume, a process that spans the entire board book. Using an abcb rhyme scheme, Boynton dresses Pookie in a series of cheerful costumes, including a dragon, a bunny, and even a caped superhero. Pookie eventually settles on the holiday classic, a ghost, by way of a bedsheet. Boynton sprinkles in amusing asides to her stanzas as Pookie offers costume commentary ("It's itchy"; "It's hot"; "I feel silly"). Little readers will enjoy the notion of transforming themselves with their own Halloween costumes while reading this book, and a few parents may get some ideas as well. Boynton's clean, sharp illustrations are as good as ever. This is Pookie's first holiday title, but readers will surely welcome more.

A pleasant holiday spent with a perfectly charming character. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: July 7, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-553-51233-5

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Robin Corey/Random

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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