A winner: beautifully illustrated, nicely designed and solidly informative.

BATS!

FURRY FLIERS OF THE NIGHT

A seamless blend of realistic graphics, high-resolution photography and well-chosen interactive features makes for an inviting introduction to bat behavior and types.

In each of the seven topical sections, Carson’s short overview commentary is supplemented by captions and touch-activated windows. These show, for instance, a map of major bat colonies with touch-activated sub-windows or what a human skeleton with bat wings would look like and how it would articulate. The screen-filling nighttime scenes are sometimes sequential; one series leads viewers in stages into the Bracken Bat Cave in Texas, for instance, to view a huge mound of guano. Hidden bats (always specific, identified types) on several screens can be “spotted” with a fingertip. The “Seeing with Sound” chapter features a “record” button that allows readers to see their own bat screeches in action, and the closing animation is a tilt-controlled bat’s-eye “flight” over a moonlit landscape. The on-screen slider that appears to signal that the next page has loaded may prompt too-quick digits to flick before the narrator is quite through, but its bottom-to-top action is pleasingly different from the usual site-swiping motion as well as suiting its aerial subject. Overall, navigation is smooth, and the special features enhance rather than distract from the presentation.

A winner: beautifully illustrated, nicely designed and solidly informative. (iPad informational app. 6-9)

Pub Date: Jan. 30, 2012

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bookerella and Story Worldwide

Review Posted Online: Feb. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 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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