A lively alternative to the 2003 print version, with judicious audio and interactive tweaks but blessedly free of games and...

HOW I BECAME A PIRATE

Pans, zooms, gruff vocals and piratical sound effects add even more swash to the buckles of young Jeremy’s first encounter with Braid Beard and his disreputable crew.

A trip to the beach takes a turn for the exciting when Jeremy joins the errant pirates—“Shiver me timbers! We must have taken a wrong turn at Bora Bora.” He soon discovers, however, that as much as pirates delight in dispensing with table manners and tooth brushing, they also scorn bedtime tucking and storybooks. Artful panning or zeroing in on details nicely shows off Shannon’s lovingly detailed images of scurvy knaves in full pirate gear (some small animations have been added), as well as allowing the original narrative to be broken into more digestible passages. Along with options for an animated, multivoiced audio track or silent reading, there is a self-record feature. Readers can tap any word to hear it pronounced again; likewise, touching most figures or details in the pictures activates both vocal and visual labels.

A lively alternative to the 2003 print version, with judicious audio and interactive tweaks but blessedly free of games and like silly distractions. (iPad storybook app. 6-8)

Pub Date: July 17, 2014

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Oceanhouse Media

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

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A fair choice, but it may need some support to really blast off.

TINY LITTLE ROCKET

This rocket hopes to take its readers on a birthday blast—but there may or may not be enough fuel.

Once a year, a one-seat rocket shoots out from Earth. Why? To reveal a special congratulatory banner for a once-a-year event. The second-person narration puts readers in the pilot’s seat and, through a (mostly) ballad-stanza rhyme scheme (abcb), sends them on a journey toward the sun, past meteors, and into the Kuiper belt. The final pages include additional information on how birthdays are measured against the Earth’s rotations around the sun. Collingridge aims for the stars with this title, and he mostly succeeds. The rhyme scheme flows smoothly, which will make listeners happy, but the illustrations (possibly a combination of paint with digital enhancements) may leave the viewers feeling a little cold. The pilot is seen only with a 1960s-style fishbowl helmet that completely obscures the face, gender, and race by reflecting the interior of the rocket ship. This may allow readers/listeners to picture themselves in the role, but it also may divest them of any emotional connection to the story. The last pages—the backside of a triple-gatefold spread—label the planets and include Pluto. While Pluto is correctly labeled as a dwarf planet, it’s an unusual choice to include it but not the other dwarfs: Ceres, Eris, etc. The illustration also neglects to include the asteroid belt or any of the solar system’s moons.

A fair choice, but it may need some support to really blast off. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: July 31, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-338-18949-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: David Fickling/Phoenix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: April 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2018

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Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably...

LOST AND FOUND

A lad finds a penguin on his doorstep and resolutely sets out to return it in this briefly told import. 

Eventually, he ends up rowing it all the way back to Antarctica, braving waves and storms, filling in the time by telling it stories. But then, feeling lonely after he drops his silent charge off, he belatedly realizes that it was probably lonely too, and turns back to find it. Seeing Jeffers’s small, distant figures in wide, simply brushed land- and sea-scapes, young viewers will probably cotton to the penguin’s feelings before the boy himself does—but all’s well that ends well, and the reunited companions are last seen adrift together in the wide blue sea. 

Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably with this—slightly—less offbeat friendship tale. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-399-24503-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

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