A lesson to be sure, but delivered in a lighthearted blend of equally lively art, sound and animation.

THE HOUSE THAT WENT ON STRIKE

In an episode both funny and pointed, a family of slobs receives an ultimatum from their filthy house and its disgusted appliances.

Decrepit outside and dirty inside (“I was ashamed and depressed: was this all a cruel jest? / While my people relaxed, I was totally stressed”), House recruits a squad of equally neglected appliances to eject the oblivious residents until they show more respect. Though wordy enough to require manual scrolling on some screens, the rhymed narrative trots along briskly—particularly in the zesty reading provided by former U.S. presidential candidate Pat Schroeder—to a final proper show of remorse and a vigorous “Clean Revolution.” Easy-to-spot interactive elements jiggle occasionally and are colored more brightly than the angled, informally drawn cartoon backgrounds. They include a plate-spitting dishwasher with a ferocious snarl, a plaintive (and thoroughly grease-encrusted) oven and other touch-activated figures, a roving X-ray spotlight for seeing through House’s walls, ancient food items that can be flicked out of the fridge into a garbage can and miscellaneous general litter to sweep away with a fingertip.

A lesson to be sure, but delivered in a lighthearted blend of equally lively art, sound and animation. (iPad storybook app. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 24, 2012

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Jumping Pages

Review Posted Online: Aug. 20, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2012

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A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

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BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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A DOG NAMED SAM

A book that will make young dog-owners smile in recognition and confirm dogless readers' worst suspicions about the mayhem caused by pets, even winsome ones. Sam, who bears passing resemblance to an affable golden retriever, is praised for fetching the family newspaper, and goes on to fetch every other newspaper on the block. In the next story, only the children love Sam's swimming; he is yelled at by lifeguards and fishermen alike when he splashes through every watering hole he can find. Finally, there is woe to the entire family when Sam is bored and lonely for one long night. Boland has an essential message, captured in both both story and illustrations of this Easy-to-Read: Kids and dogs belong together, especially when it's a fun-loving canine like Sam. An appealing tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8037-1530-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1996

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