The story definitely succeeds at capturing a near-universal childhood impulse and is likely to be a preschool favorite.

BOJ THE COLLECTOR

A mildly interactive extension of the BBC’s popular animated series for young children.

Before starring in his own storybook app, Boj the bilby (a desert-dwelling marsupial) was delighting kids all over the U.K. with his television series for young children. In this iPad adaptation of an episode, Boj learns what a collection is. Many of his adorable, bubbly friends collect things they love: trophies, robots, hats and stuffed animals. Wanting to start a collection of his own, Boj traverses Giggly Park and gathers some seemingly insignificant treasures. When his friends question the value of his finds, Boj decides to use those items to build things that will add to his friends’ collections. This app is technologically simple. Little fingers can help Boj gather things (though the text says Boj is doing it), and finger taps summon a host of basic animated movements and interactions. Robots chirp, stuffed animals squeak, trophies sparkle. There are two games embedded within the story, one to help Boj collect items and another puzzlelike activity to help him build things. There’s an original song at the end, complete with karaoke lyrics. The only bug is a frustratingly unresponsive icon that’s supposed to take readers back to the home screen; repeated finger taps finally prevail.

The story definitely succeeds at capturing a near-universal childhood impulse and is likely to be a preschool favorite. (iPad storybook app. 2-6)

Pub Date: May 19, 2014

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Box of Frogs Media

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

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FROGGY GOES TO SCHOOL

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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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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