Enchanting artwork, tranquil sound effects and the narrator’s soothing voice all add to the serenity. But the interaction...

READ REVIEW

A WORD'S A BIRD

This bilingual (French/English) springtime rhyme is lovely and charming in many ways, but underneath, it’s a scant offering that may leave readers wondering, “Is that all?”

Much like a flip book, this app is illustrated by hundreds of lush watercolor paintings that have been combined to create animation. But this isn’t a book to flip through. Rather, there is a pull-down with an introductory poem and three simple icons on the home screen that correspond to three spring months: April, May and June. Tap one, and a new screen launches that reveals another brief poem. Swiping the bottom of the text box upward causes it to temporarily disappear while animation commences—a mother duck and her ducklings paddling in a stream; a cardinal flaps up into an apple tree; a spaniel and a mustachioed bloodhound go boating. Each vignette holds an interactive nugget. In April, the duck and her ducklings line up to face readers, and the line of corresponding lilies behind them represents the notes on the scale. In perhaps the app’s most engaging feature, tapping out any melody on the lilies causes the ducklings to mimic it. In May, touching peonies causes them to bloom, each revealing a different bee. A selective glossary adds little.

Enchanting artwork, tranquil sound effects and the narrator’s soothing voice all add to the serenity. But the interaction and poetry are so fleeting, this app feels like an incomplete sentence. (requires iPad 2+) (iPad storybook app 2-5)

Pub Date: May 18, 2013

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Actialuna

Review Posted Online: July 8, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

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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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This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer.

PEPPA'S GIANT PUMPKIN

From the Peppa Pig series

Peppa hopes to join her classmates in a Halloween pumpkin competition in this adaptation of a story from the popular British television program Peppa Pig.

With the help of Granny and Grandpa Pig, Peppa turns her giant pumpkin, which is the size of a compact car, into a jack-o’-lantern. The trio is flummoxed when it comes time to transport the pumpkin to the competition, so they call on Miss Rabbit and her helicopter to airlift the pumpkin to the festivities as Peppa and her grandparents ride inside. Peppa arrives just in time for the contest and wins the prize for best flying pumpkin. The scenes look as if they are pulled directly from the television show, right down to the rectangular framing of some of the scenes. While the story is literally nothing new, the text is serviceable, describing the action in two to three sentences per page. The pumpkin-shaped book and orange foil cover will likely attract youngsters, whether they are Peppa fans or not.

This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-33922-2

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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