Gender issues aside, this app is definitely worth the price of admission.


From the Rounds series

The second installment in Nosy Crow’s educational Rounds series.

Every illustration in this series is made out of circles or parts of circles. Additionally, much like a rousing chorus of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” these stories follow the life cycles of living beings—so far, a frog (Franklin Frog, 2012) and a penguin. This adventure begins with Parker, an adult penguin who waddles and slides through his icy world. He spouts facts—in the first person—about penguins along the way. Tapping him prompts declarations like, “I rock from side to side as I walk.” Readers can help him do things like skid over snow and avoid predators while swimming. Parker finds a mate in Penelope. They do their awesome mating dance, and eventually, Percy is born, which starts the cycle all over again. Percy meets Pippa, and their mating results in Peter, who mates with Pearl. And so it goes. Navigation is super smooth, and the penguins’ charming discourse is likely to teach the adults a thing or two. All the interactions are both interesting and satisfying. The only oversight is that both stories in this series are told entirely from a male perspective. Could the tale not be told from Penelope’s, Pippa’s or Pearl’s point of view? It’s unfortunate that the females don’t exist until found by a mate.

Gender issues aside, this app is definitely worth the price of admission. (iPad informational app. 2-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 12, 2012


Page Count: -

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2013

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Safe to creep on by.


Carle’s famous caterpillar expresses its love.

In three sentences that stretch out over most of the book’s 32 pages, the (here, at least) not-so-ravenous larva first describes the object of its love, then describes how that loved one makes it feel before concluding, “That’s why… / I[heart]U.” There is little original in either visual or textual content, much of it mined from The Very Hungry Caterpillar. “You are… / …so sweet,” proclaims the caterpillar as it crawls through the hole it’s munched in a strawberry; “…the cherry on my cake,” it says as it perches on the familiar square of chocolate cake; “…the apple of my eye,” it announces as it emerges from an apple. Images familiar from other works join the smiling sun that shone down on the caterpillar as it delivers assurances that “you make… / …the sun shine brighter / …the stars sparkle,” and so on. The book is small, only 7 inches high and 5 ¾ inches across when closed—probably not coincidentally about the size of a greeting card. While generations of children have grown up with the ravenous caterpillar, this collection of Carle imagery and platitudinous sentiment has little of his classic’s charm. The melding of Carle’s caterpillar with Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE on the book’s cover, alas, draws further attention to its derivative nature.

Safe to creep on by. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-448-48932-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2021

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Froggy's back (Froggy Learns to Swim, 1995, etc.) and on his first day of school, he wakes up late and goes to class in his underwear! No, that's only a dream—Froggy's parents wake him up just in time and they have breakfast together before leapfrogging to the bus stop. At school, Froggy gets a name tag, falls off his chair, and teaches the class—and the teacher—and the principal- -how to swim, an act that includes singing ``Bubble bubble, toot toot. Chicken, airplane, soldier.'' When his parents pick him up at the bus stop at the end of the day, they discover that he has forgotten his lunch box in school. `` `Oh, Froggy. Will you ever learn?' said his mother. `That's why I'm going to school, Mom!' '' The accessible writing has plenty of gratifying opportunities for funny sounds when read out loud, and is also endearingly wry: ``He liked his name. It was the first word he knew how to read. It was the only word he knew how to read.'' Remkiewicz's bright watercolors feature punchy, bouncy, bug-eyed animals wearing emphatically exaggerated expressions: This bunch is easy to love. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-670-86726-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1996

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