Like the board book it is based on (Bizzy Bear, Let's Go to Work! 2012), this app has only a few pages, but each one is...

READ REVIEW

BIZZY BEAR BUILDS A HOUSE

From the Bizzy Bear series

Kids who love trucks and construction will identify with Bizzy as he dons his hard hat and "helps" the crew build a house.

Lots of attention has been paid to making this app easy for little ones to use, and young readers will have fun participating in all aspects of the construction site. Narrated in a British accent by child actors, this brightly illustrated app allows the reader to bulldoze, mix cement and dig a hole for a foundation. A blue dot blinks to help readers locate the many interactive elements. Page turns and the home-screen icon must be tapped twice to activate, which neatly prevents accidental navigation, and while they occasionally blink to suggest readers move on, they never rush things, allowing readers to move along at their own pace. Highlighted words follow the text in Read and Play mode, and in Read to Myself, readers can adjust how long the text remains on the screen. With the exception of a slightly annoying loop of background music, the sound effects, from truck engines and bird chirps to brick laying and a flushing toilet, are nicely done and add an extra level of fun.

Like the board book it is based on (Bizzy Bear, Let's Go to Work! 2012), this app has only a few pages, but each one is packed with features that encourage budding builders to linger as long as they like. (iPad storybook app. 6 mos.-3)

Pub Date: June 21, 2012

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Nosy Crow

Review Posted Online: Aug. 1, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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A brisk, buffed-up finish threaded with inner and outer, not to mention sartorial, changes.

THE TOWER OF NERO

From the Trials of Apollo series , Vol. 5

In this tumultuous series closer, Apollo, transformed into a mortal teenager, takes on both a deified emperor in a luxurious Manhattan high-rise and an older adversary.

Lester/Apollo’s coast-to-coast quest reaches its climactic stage as, with help from both eager squads of fledgling demigods from Camp Half-Blood and reluctant allies from realms deep below New York, he invades the palatial lair of Emperor Nero—followed by a solo bout with another foe from a past struggle. Riordan lays on the transformation of the heedless, arrogant sun god to a repentant lover of his long-neglected semidivine offspring and of humanity in general, which has served as the series’ binding theme, thickly enough to have his humbled narrator even apologizing (twice!) to his underwear for having to change it periodically. Still, the author delivers a fast, action-driven plot with high stakes, lots of fighting, and occasional splashes of gore brightened by banter and silly bits, so readers aren’t likely to mind all the hand-wringing. He also leaves any real-life parallels to the slick, megalomaniacal, emotionally abusive Nero entirely up to readers to discern and dishes out just deserts all round, neatly tying up loose ends in a set of closing vignettes. The supporting cast is predominantly White, with passing mention of diverse representation.

A brisk, buffed-up finish threaded with inner and outer, not to mention sartorial, changes. (glossary) (Fantasy. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4847-4645-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Oct. 22, 2020

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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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