Combining the pleasantly narrated, yet uninspiring original rhyming text with slick, standard-looking graphics doesn’t add...

READ REVIEW

PUNKY DUNK AND THE GOLDFISH

From the Agent Magic Investigates series

Another tepid iPad adaptation of the 1912 children’s storybook.

There are perks to publishing a book that has no known author; namely, it’s royalty-free. That may or may not be the reason that this story has once again been imagined for iPad, but the bottom line is that this newest version doesn’t make much more of a splash than the 2011 iteration from Moo Goo Media did. The one exception in this edition is a cute little mouse, Agent Magic, who guides readers through the story and others in his series. Every once in a while, Agent Magic asks for recordable reader feedback and then parrots it back in a marginally disguised voice. There are other interactive “games”—numbering goldfish or drawing food, for example—but there aren’t many active hotspots beyond poking the cat’s nose or splashing water in his face. (Neither is newsworthy.) Readers can make a personalized Secret Agent ID card by tapping to take a photo, and there’s an adults-only family area where screenshots and drawings can be uploaded to Facebook or sent via email. Parents can create an online account with the developer, which allows for avatar selection and a personal photo of the grown-up, but the point of it all isn’t readily apparent.

Combining the pleasantly narrated, yet uninspiring original rhyming text with slick, standard-looking graphics doesn’t add much to this old yarn. (iPad storybook app. 2-5)

Pub Date: June 13, 2013

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: FamLoop

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2013

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Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S HALLOWEEN

A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer.

PEPPA'S GIANT PUMPKIN

From the Peppa Pig series

Peppa hopes to join her classmates in a Halloween pumpkin competition in this adaptation of a story from the popular British television program Peppa Pig.

With the help of Granny and Grandpa Pig, Peppa turns her giant pumpkin, which is the size of a compact car, into a jack-o’-lantern. The trio is flummoxed when it comes time to transport the pumpkin to the competition, so they call on Miss Rabbit and her helicopter to airlift the pumpkin to the festivities as Peppa and her grandparents ride inside. Peppa arrives just in time for the contest and wins the prize for best flying pumpkin. The scenes look as if they are pulled directly from the television show, right down to the rectangular framing of some of the scenes. While the story is literally nothing new, the text is serviceable, describing the action in two to three sentences per page. The pumpkin-shaped book and orange foil cover will likely attract youngsters, whether they are Peppa fans or not.

This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-33922-2

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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