A retrograde, positively vapid story with superficial whistles and bells that fizzle well before the clock strikes midnight.

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A PRINCESS TALE

Three fair (literally—they are all white) maidens ready themselves to vie for the prince’s love.

This highly predictable tale begins with three princess-wannabes giddy at having been invited to the prince’s soirée. Once one of the girls is selected, readers must help with her chores so she can go to the ball. Tasks include tidying up, arranging a vase of flowers and feeding various types of “fruit” (including carrots, strangely enough) to animals. Subsequently, a diminutive fairy godmother provides everything from kimonos to bling so that readers can dress the maiden, paper doll–style. Once properly adorned, she arrives at the party and gets her shot with the prince by solving three “riddles,” one of which is properly arranging a table setting (apparently Emily Post has found her way to Fairyland). The text is presented alternately on a faux-antique book and a scroll, which drifts down to temporarily obscure a full-screen image. There are a few other tactile treats, including popping balloons, detonating fireworks and an opportunity to paint (yawn), but they quickly lose their luster amid the primitive animation and clunky presentation. In addition, language like “Oh yeah!” and “Lookin' good!” are incongruent with the once-upon-a-time motif that the calligraphy-laden text and the Old World attire suggest.

A retrograde, positively vapid story with superficial whistles and bells that fizzle well before the clock strikes midnight. (iPad storybook app. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 2011

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Tiger Stripes LLC

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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A wandering effort, happy but pointless.

DRAGONS LOVE TACOS

From the Dragons Love Tacos series

The perfect book for kids who love dragons and mild tacos.

Rubin’s story starts with an incantatory edge: “Hey, kid! Did you know that dragons love tacos? They love beef tacos and chicken tacos. They love really big gigantic tacos and tiny little baby tacos as well.” The playing field is set: dragons, tacos. As a pairing, they are fairly silly, and when the kicker comes in—that dragons hate spicy salsa, which ignites their inner fireworks—the silliness is sillier still. Second nature, after all, is for dragons to blow flames out their noses. So when the kid throws a taco party for the dragons, it seems a weak device that the clearly labeled “totally mild” salsa comes with spicy jalapenos in the fine print, prompting the dragons to burn down the house, resulting in a barn-raising at which more tacos are served. Harmless, but if there is a parable hidden in the dragon-taco tale, it is hidden in the unlit deep, and as a measure of lunacy, bridled or unbridled, it doesn’t make the leap into the outer reaches of imagination. Salmieri’s artwork is fitting, with a crabbed, ethereal line work reminiscent of Peter Sís, but the story does not offer it enough range.

A wandering effort, happy but pointless. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 14, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3680-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2012

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Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture...

WHEN I PRAY FOR YOU

Turner adds another title to his picture-book series that highlights the miracles in the mundane (When God Made Light, 2018, etc.).

In the vein of children’s-bookshelf stalwart Oh, the Places You’ll Go, Turner’s rhyming text includes both prayers and life advice for a growing child, beginning with infancy and moving on to adolescence. At times the rhyme and meter are strained, muddling meaning and making the tempo feel occasionally awkward when read aloud. Overall, though, the book executes its mission, presenting Christian theological truths within the rhythmic inspirational text. For this third series installment Turner’s text is paired with a new illustrator, whose bright illustrations of wide-eyed children have great shelf appeal. While David Catrow’s previous illustrations in the series featured effervescent black protagonists, the child in Barnes’ illustrations appears white, though she occupies an otherwise diverse world. While illustrated as a prayer from a mother for her daughter, the text itself is gender neutral.

Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture books. (Picture book/religion. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-52565058-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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