A fun first step into cultural awareness.

JAZZY WORLD TOUR

A mini-almanac doubles as a cumulative travel book in this survey of various countries.

The opening screen displays a world map decorated with the flags of seven countries: Brazil, Spain, Egypt, Kenya, India, Australia and the United States. When readers tap on a flag, they are transported to that location, where they are offered three options: learn, play or create. In “learn” mode, readers can scroll through a large, colorful menu of musical instruments, animals and traditional food/clothing that are representative of that region. Tapping on an item summons a corresponding text box that explains it. Unfortunately, there’s not a narrative option for descriptions, which would make them more accessible to preschoolers. “Play” mode is a musical party of sorts, where tapping on a character prompts it to play a musical instrument or offer other cultural contributions (a bullfighter waves his cape and says, “Arriba,” for example). Finally, readers can opt for “create” mode, which is essentially a storyboard on which animal and instrument stickers can be placed. Once complete, readers can take a picture of their creations or even generate a video by moving stickers around while an “hourglass” drains. Photos and videos are automatically added to the travel book; the app also offers Facebook and Twitter integration, as well as sending creations via email or just saving them to your camera roll.

A fun first step into cultural awareness. (iPad 2+ recommended) (iPad storybook app. 2-6)

Pub Date: April 17, 2013

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: The Melody Book

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An A+ for Little E and his creator.

LITTLE EXCAVATOR

A petite excavator named Little E finds his place among a crew of full-sized, heavy-construction equipment working together to build a park.

The anthropomorphic Little E, with bright, friendly eyes and a cheery smile, invites readers into the story on the large-format cover. He is followed by a brown-and-white–spotted dog, which appears throughout the story as a friend to Little E. The construction vehicles arrive at an abandoned lot and begin working together to transform the property into a park. The rollicking, rhyming text names each type of rig and its function, including lots of sound effects and action verbs set in display type integrated into the illustrations: “Pusha-pusha smusha-smusha SMASH SMASH SMASH!” Little E tries to help with each step, but he is either too small or not strong enough for the task at hand. The last step of the park-construction project is the planting of a tree on an island reached by a bridge, but all the big rigs are too large to safely cross the wooden bridge. In a pitch-perfect conclusion, Little E is just the right size for the job. Dewdney, the late author/illustrator of the Llama Llama series, has constructed a solid winner for one of her final books, with an appealing main character, vibrant illustrations with varying perspectives, and an action-packed, rhyming text with sound effects just begging to be read aloud with dramatic effect.

An A+ for Little E and his creator. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: June 6, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-101-99920-2

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Roller-coaster enthusiasts or not, children will eagerly join our intrepid hero on this entertaining ride.

THE PIGEON WILL RIDE THE ROLLER COASTER!

The Pigeon is on an emotional—and physical—roller coaster.

Since learning about the existence of roller coasters, he’s become giddy with excitement. The Pigeon prepares mentally: He’ll need a ticket and “exemplary patience” to wait in line. He envisions zooming up and down and careening through dizzying turns and loops. Then, he imagines his emotions afterward: exhilaration, post-ride blues, pride at having accomplished such a feat, and enthusiasm at the prospect of riding again. (He’ll also feel dizzy and nauseous.) All this before the Pigeon ever sets claw on an actual coaster. So…will he really try it? Are roller coasters fun? When the moment comes, everything seems to go according to plan: waiting in line, settling into the little car, THEN—off he goes! Though the ride itself isn’t quite what the Pigeon expected, it will delight readers. Wearing his feelings on his wing and speaking directly to the audience in first person, the Pigeon describes realistic thoughts and emotions about waiting and guessing about the unknown—common childhood experiences. No sentiment is misplaced; kids will relate to Pigeon’s eagerness and apprehension. The ending falls somewhat flat, but the whole humorous point is that an underwhelming adventure can still be thrilling enough to warrant repeating. Willems’ trademark droll illustrations will have readers giggling. The roller-coaster attendant is light-skinned. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Roller-coaster enthusiasts or not, children will eagerly join our intrepid hero on this entertaining ride. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-4549-4686-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Union Square Kids

Review Posted Online: June 8, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more