A solid once-over, with systematic digital enhancements that will draw a buzz from newly independent readers.

ON BEYOND BUGS

ALL ABOUT INSECTS

A tap-happy reader’s dream guide to common insects—presented by Thing 1 and Thing 2 with the Cat in the Hat as impresario.

The index and reading list of the 1999 print edition have been dropped, but the rhymed text and Seuss-style pictures remain—and there’s lots going on. Touching well-nigh all of the figures, features, objects, items of clothing, trees or flowers whenever they appear on any screen results in both visual and voiced labels. Along with lots of tiny bugs that fly and hover on their own, many of the larger figures will also trail a moving fingertip. Likewise, tapping any word triggers a pronunciation, even with the “Read It Myself” option selected; tapping bolded words brings up a definition to boot. The six-legged cast includes black ants, caterpillars and butterflies, crickets, flies, mosquitoes, ladybugs, praying mantises, grasshoppers and other widely distributed insect types, with cameos from spiders and other predators. Terms like “thorax” and “pollination” kick up the level of detail in discussions of insect behavior, defenses and diversity. Though the overstimulated narrator, a lad in the illustrations who is loudly identified as “Dick!” whenever he’s tapped, and a text that, on some screens, appears piecemeal may distract less-focused students, this introduction to the insect realm is as functional as it is fun.

A solid once-over, with systematic digital enhancements that will draw a buzz from newly independent readers. (iPad informational app. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 29, 2013

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Oceanhouse Media

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The message is worthy, but this phoned-in follow-up doesn’t add anything significant.

THE WORLD NEEDS MORE PURPLE SCHOOLS

From the My Purple World series

A color-themed vision of what school should be like.

In what amounts to a rehash of The World Needs More Purple People (2020), Bell and Hart address adult as well as young readers to explain what “curious and kind you” can do to make school, or for that matter the universe, a better place. Again culminating in the vague but familiar “JUST. BE. YOU!” the program remains much the same—including asking questions both “universe-sized” (“Could you make a burrito larger than a garbage truck?”) and “smaller, people-sized” (i.e., personal), working hard to learn and make things, offering praise and encouragement, speaking up and out, laughing together, and listening to others. In the illustrations, light-skinned, blond-haired narrator Penny poses amid a busy, open-mouthed, diverse cast that includes a child wearing a hijab and one who uses a wheelchair. Wiseman opts to show fewer grown-ups here, but the children are the same as in the earlier book, and a scene showing two figures blowing chocolate milk out of their noses essentially recycles a visual joke from the previous outing. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

The message is worthy, but this phoned-in follow-up doesn’t add anything significant. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 21, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-43490-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless.

THE WORLD NEEDS MORE PURPLE PEOPLE

A monohued tally of positive character traits.

Purple is a “magic color,” affirm the authors (both actors, though Hart’s name recognition is nowhere near the level of Bell’s), and “purple people” are the sort who ask questions, laugh wholeheartedly, work hard, freely voice feelings and opinions, help those who might “lose” their own voices in the face of unkindness, and, in sum, can “JUST BE (the real) YOU.” Unlike the obsessive protagonist of Victoria Kann’s Pinkalicious franchise, being a purple person has “nothing to do with what you look like”—a point that Wiseman underscores with scenes of exuberantly posed cartoon figures (including versions of the authors) in casual North American attire but sporting a wide range of ages, skin hues, and body types. A crowded playground at the close (no social distancing here) displays all this wholesome behavior in action. Plenty of purple highlights, plus a plethora of broad smiles and wide-open mouths, crank up the visual energy—and if the earnest overall tone doesn’t snag the attention of young audiences, a grossly literal view of the young narrator and a grandparent “snot-out-our-nose laughing” should do the trick. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.4-by-20.6-inch double-page spreads viewed at 22.2% of actual size.)

The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12196-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more