Jenny may not be that unusual as a young lady, but the way the app brings readers into her point of view and shows other...

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EXTRAORDINARY JENNY JONES

The shapes of the world are seen very differently by an unusual girl with a common name.

Jenny Jones, who has a name shared by “possibly millions,” is like any girl except for one big difference: Wherever there are circles, she sees squares. Whether it’s a pizza, a bowl of fruit or even a Ferris wheel, Jenny sees corners and blocks where others see round shapes. She takes time picking out these shapes in panoramic pages; readers can scroll horizontally and find them in puzzle pages that reward sharp eyes. The art imagines Jenny’s world as a heightened reality in which houses look like giant slices of bread and everyone wears bright, warm colors. The narration of the story is nicely paced and distinct, page navigation is easily managed with a pull-down curtain rope, and the ending, in which her family simply accepts Jenny’s skewed view, supports the kind notion that we all see things in different ways. The story gets repetitive as it closes, but the pages themselves are lively, featuring a feline named Chairman Miao who’s there to help advance the story when readers gets stuck on puzzles.

Jenny may not be that unusual as a young lady, but the way the app brings readers into her point of view and shows other ways to see objects otherwise taken for granted certainly makes her stand out. (requires iPad 2+) (iPad storybook app. 5-12)

Pub Date: May 15, 2013

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: PaperPlaneCo

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

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A witty addition to the long-running series.

THE DEEP END

From the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series , Vol. 15

The Wimpy Kid hits the road.

The Heffley clan has been stuck living together in Gramma’s basement for two months, waiting for the family home to be repaired, and the constant togetherness has been getting on everybody’s nerves. Luckily Greg’s Uncle Gary has a camper waiting for someone to use it, and so the Heffleys set off on the open road looking for an adventurous vacation, hoping the changing scenery will bring a spark back to the family unit. The winding road leads the Heffleys to a sprawling RV park, a setting teeming with possibilities for Greg to get up to his usual shenanigans. Greg’s snarky asides and misadventures continue to entertain. At this point the Wimpy Kid books run like a well-oiled machine, paced perfectly with witty lines, smart gags, and charming cartoons. Kinney knows just where to put a joke, the precise moment to give a character shading, and exactly how to get the narrative rolling, spinning out the oddest plot developments. The appreciation Kinney has for these characters seeps through the novels, endearing the Heffleys to readers even through this title, the 15th installment in a franchise boasting spinoffs, movies, and merchandise. There may come a time when Greg and his family overstay their welcome, but thankfully that day still seems far off.

A witty addition to the long-running series. (Humor. 7-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4868-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2020

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Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs.

WRECKING BALL

From the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series , Vol. 14

The Heffley family’s house undergoes a disastrous attempt at home improvement.

When Great Aunt Reba dies, she leaves some money to the family. Greg’s mom calls a family meeting to determine what to do with their share, proposing home improvements and then overruling the family’s cartoonish wish lists and instead pushing for an addition to the kitchen. Before bringing in the construction crew, the Heffleys attempt to do minor maintenance and repairs themselves—during which Greg fails at the work in various slapstick scenes. Once the professionals are brought in, the problems keep getting worse: angry neighbors, terrifying problems in walls, and—most serious—civil permitting issues that put the kibosh on what work’s been done. Left with only enough inheritance to patch and repair the exterior of the house—and with the school’s dismal standardized test scores as a final straw—Greg’s mom steers the family toward moving, opening up house-hunting and house-selling storylines (and devastating loyal Rowley, who doesn’t want to lose his best friend). While Greg’s positive about the move, he’s not completely uncaring about Rowley’s action. (And of course, Greg himself is not as unaffected as he wishes.) The gags include effectively placed callbacks to seemingly incidental events (the “stress lizard” brought in on testing day is particularly funny) and a lampoon of after-school-special–style problem books. Just when it seems that the Heffleys really will move, a new sequence of chaotic trouble and property destruction heralds a return to the status quo. Whew.

Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3903-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 19, 2019

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