A dazzly dud.

READ REVIEW

AND SO YOU WERE BORN

A far-out meditation on the implications of being born.

This app gushes spiritual sentiment but doesn’t provide a drop of insight or practical relevance. We are born, according to the story, because we are loved. But once here, there’s a whole lot to live up to. “God wishes you to shine / and dazzle bright” and have “a heart like an illumined lamp / and a life like a star / shining forth all of its light.” No pressure. The text assumes that as readers grow, they’ll “show many virtues,” such as living joyfully, learning to pray alone and being helpful and considerate, “just as a child of God would be.” Beyond that there’s no context, no specifics—just a whole lot of trivial moralizing wrapped in a syrupy, mawkish text. Illustrations are bright and cheery, comprised of what one might expect with the accompanying narrative: stars and butterflies, balloons and ponies, with children frolicking in the meadow or floating through the air. Interaction is limited and profoundly basic. There are bonus jigsaw puzzles, matching games and a paint feature. “Personalized” text can be inserted in the story, and readers can access prayers/scripture from a variety of faiths—everything from Bahá'í to Zoroastrianism—which can be recorded, either visually (iPad 2) or audibly (iPad 1).

A dazzly dud. (iPad storybook app. 2-5)

Pub Date: Dec. 22, 2011

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Twin Peacocks Publishing

Review Posted Online: Feb. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2012

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It’s sweet, but it thematically (and eponymously) replicates Dan Pinto and Benn Sutton’s Hedgehug (2011)—with much less verve

HEDGEHUGS

How do you hug if you’re a hedgehog?

Horace and Hattie are best friends who like to spend time together making daisy chains, splashing in puddles, and having tea parties. But they are OK doing things on their own, too: Hattie dances in the bluebells, while Horace searches the woods for spiders. But no matter what they do, together or apart, there’s one thing that they’ve found impossible: hugging. Each season, they try something new that will enable them to cushion their spines and snuggle up. Snow hugs are too cold, hollow-log hugs are too bumpy, strawberry hugs are too sticky, and autumn-leaf hugs are too scratchy. But a chance encounter with some laundry drying on a line may hold the answer to their problem—as well as to the universal mystery of lost socks. Tapper’s illustrations are a mix of what appears to be digital elements and photographed textures from scraps of baby clothes. While the latter provide pleasing textures, the hedgehogs are rendered digitally. Though cute, they are rather stiff and, well, spiky. Also, the typeface choice unfortunately makes the D in “hedgehug” look like a fancy lowercase A, especially to those still working on their reading skills.

It’s sweet, but it thematically (and eponymously) replicates Dan Pinto and Benn Sutton’s Hedgehug (2011)—with much less verve . (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-62779-404-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2015

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Young dino fans will enjoy it, though their grown-ups may not.

NOISY DINOSAURS

From the My First Touch and Feel Sound Book series

What sounds did dinosaurs make? We don't really know.

Litton suggests some possibilities while introducing sophisticated vocabulary in a board-book format. Five dinosaurs are featured: Tyrannosaurus rex, Stegosaurus, Pterodactyl, Diplodocus, and Triceratops. For each species there is a brief description that highlights its distinctive features, followed by an invitation to hear and repeat the dinosaur's sound. There is no explanation for why scientists think T. Rex “roared,” Stegosaurus “howled,” Pterodactyl “screeched,” Diplodocus “growled,” or Triceratops “grunted.” The author tries to avoid sexism, carefully referring to two of the creatures as “she,” but those two are also described in stereotypically less-ferocious terms than the male dinos. The touch point on the Pterodactyl is a soft section of wing. Readers are told that Diplodocus “loved splashing in swamps,” and the instruction is to “tickle her tummy to hear her growl,” implying that this giant creature was gentle and friendly. None of this may matter to young paleontologists, who will enjoy finding the tactile section on each creature that triggers the sound. Despite extensive directions in small print, most parents and libraries won't bother to change the battery secured by a tiny hex screw, but while the battery lasts, the book will get lots of play.

Young dino fans will enjoy it, though their grown-ups may not. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-58925-207-3

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Aug. 5, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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