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

Well-meaning and with a lovely presentation, this sentimental effort may be aimed more at adults than kids.

MY LITTLE BRAVE GIRL

Little girls are given encouragement and assurance so they can meet the challenges of life as they move through the big, wide world.

Delicately soft watercolor-style art depicts naturalistic scenes with a diverse quintet of little girls portraying potential situations they will encounter, as noted by a narrative heavily dependent on a series of clichés. “The stars are high, and you can reach them,” it promises as three of the girls chase fireflies under a star-filled night sky. “Oceans run deep, and you will learn to swim,” it intones as one girl treads water and another leans over the edge of a boat to observe life on the ocean floor. “Your feet will take many steps, my brave little girl. / Let your heart lead the way.” Girls gingerly step across a brook before making their way through a meadow. The point of all these nebulous metaphors seems to be to inculcate in girls the independence, strength, and confidence they’ll need to succeed in their pursuits. Trying new things, such as foods, is a “delicious new adventure.” Though the quiet, gentle text is filled with uplifting words that parents will intuitively relate to or comprehend, the esoteric messages may be a bit sentimental and ambiguous for kids to understand or even connect to. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.5-by-19-inch double-page spreads viewed at 50% of actual size.)

Well-meaning and with a lovely presentation, this sentimental effort may be aimed more at adults than kids. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 23, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-30072-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre.

SNOW PLACE LIKE HOME

From the Diary of an Ice Princess series

Ice princess Lina must navigate family and school in this early chapter read.

The family picnic is today. This is not a typical gathering, since Lina’s maternal relatives are a royal family of Windtamers who have power over the weather and live in castles floating on clouds. Lina herself is mixed race, with black hair and a tan complexion like her Asian-presenting mother’s; her Groundling father appears to be a white human. While making a grand entrance at the castle of her grandfather, the North Wind, she fails to successfully ride a gust of wind and crashes in front of her entire family. This prompts her stern grandfather to ask that Lina move in with him so he can teach her to control her powers. Desperate to avoid this, Lina and her friend Claudia, who is black, get Lina accepted at the Hilltop Science and Arts Academy. Lina’s parents allow her to go as long as she does lessons with grandpa on Saturdays. However, fitting in at a Groundling school is rough, especially when your powers start freak winter storms! With the story unfurling in diary format, bright-pink–highlighted grayscale illustrations help move the plot along. There are slight gaps in the storytelling and the pacing is occasionally uneven, but Lina is full of spunk and promotes self-acceptance.

A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre. (Fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 25, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-35393-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more