A promising premise and appealing pictures—but no great improvement over the obscure 2004 print version.

SAINT NICK AND THE SPACE NICKS

Earthly Santa meets a host of alien counterparts in this well-meant holiday tale.

When an amazed Santa witnesses the crash of a flying saucer (“Electrons and protons measured the sky, / As the sound of sleigh bells followed it by”), he just has to help. He joins Jupnick from Jupiter and a teeming crowd of other aliens garbed in red and white fur to help Venick from Venus finish delivering toys until “Christmas shined wonderously before morning’s bright light.” Years later, the aliens return to rescue Christmas on this planet, then sail off singing “Merry Christmas Good Earth, and a Happy New Year!” in “voices of gold.” Much in need of editorial work, the text is not only clumsily modeled on “The Night Before Christmas,” with some Seussian influences, but does not always match the optional audio reading. The cheerily colored, roughly brushed art makes a better impression, as do the tap-activated digital additions—which range from waving pseudopods and whirling stars to Santa’s hearty “Ho-Ho-Ho”s (plus one bellowed “GREAT CAESAR’S GHOST!”) and a variety of chortles.

A promising premise and appealing pictures—but no great improvement over the obscure 2004 print version. (thumbnail index, five savable coloring pages) (iPad holiday storybook app. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 12, 2012

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Stubborn Pixel

Review Posted Online: Oct. 31, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless.

THE WORLD NEEDS MORE PURPLE PEOPLE

A monohued tally of positive character traits.

Purple is a “magic color,” affirm the authors (both actors, though Hart’s name recognition is nowhere near the level of Bell’s), and “purple people” are the sort who ask questions, laugh wholeheartedly, work hard, freely voice feelings and opinions, help those who might “lose” their own voices in the face of unkindness, and, in sum, can “JUST BE (the real) YOU.” Unlike the obsessive protagonist of Victoria Kann’s Pinkalicious franchise, being a purple person has “nothing to do with what you look like”—a point that Wiseman underscores with scenes of exuberantly posed cartoon figures (including versions of the authors) in casual North American attire but sporting a wide range of ages, skin hues, and body types. A crowded playground at the close (no social distancing here) displays all this wholesome behavior in action. Plenty of purple highlights, plus a plethora of broad smiles and wide-open mouths, crank up the visual energy—and if the earnest overall tone doesn’t snag the attention of young audiences, a grossly literal view of the young narrator and a grandparent “snot-out-our-nose laughing” should do the trick. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.4-by-20.6-inch double-page spreads viewed at 22.2% of actual size.)

The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12196-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Inspiration, shrink wrapped.

WHAT THE ROAD SAID

From an artist, poet, and Instagram celebrity, a pep talk for all who question where a new road might lead.

Opening by asking readers, “Have you ever wanted to go in a different direction,” the unnamed narrator describes having such a feeling and then witnessing the appearance of a new road “almost as if it were magic.” “Where do you lead?” the narrator asks. The Road’s twice-iterated response—“Be a leader and find out”—bookends a dialogue in which a traveler’s anxieties are answered by platitudes. “What if I fall?” worries the narrator in a stylized, faux hand-lettered type Wade’s Instagram followers will recognize. The Road’s dialogue and the narration are set in a chunky, sans-serif type with no quotation marks, so the one flows into the other confusingly. “Everyone falls at some point, said the Road. / But I will always be there when you land.” Narrator: “What if the world around us is filled with hate?” Road: “Lead it to love.” Narrator: “What if I feel stuck?” Road: “Keep going.” De Moyencourt illustrates this colloquy with luminous scenes of a small, brown-skinned child, face turned away from viewers so all they see is a mop of blond curls. The child steps into an urban mural, walks along a winding country road through broad rural landscapes and scary woods, climbs a rugged metaphorical mountain, then comes to stand at last, Little Prince–like, on a tiny blue and green planet. Wade’s closing claim that her message isn’t meant just for children is likely superfluous…in fact, forget the just.

Inspiration, shrink wrapped. (Picture book. 6-8, adult)

Pub Date: March 23, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-26949-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more