An amiable-enough story weighed down by a few misguided illustrations.

READ REVIEW

THE MINIATURE POLAR BEAR

A boy finds the perfect pet hiding under his bed—trouble is, his mother just won’t believe him.

During a trip to the zoo, Jimmy decides that a polar bear would be a perfect pet, but his mother brushes him off, saying, “Don’t be silly, Jimmy….They are big and wild, and they eat little boys like you.” To his delight, Jimmy discovers a miniature polar bear hiding under his bed that night. Jimmy will amuse readers with his mop of curly hair, goofy expressions and earnest attempts to convince his mother that his new pet is real. The bright cartoon illustrations are full of funny details, but they suffer from a few significant problems. Secondary characters suffer are grossly exaggerated in places. When they get angry, sister Lucy looks like a demented monster, with her florescent pink face, and Mum looks like a Bratz doll. Jimmy’s black friend Tumi occasionally looks like the worst kind of caricature. Narration and text are available in English, Spanish and Portuguese, with an unusual option that allows viewers to read and listen to two languages at the same time. Easy-to-use controls allow users to turn off narration, music and text from the home page. Animation keeps young readers engaged on each page without overwhelming the story.

An amiable-enough story weighed down by a few misguided illustrations. (Requires iOS 6 and above.) (iPad storybook app. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 3, 2014

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Rogue Software

Review Posted Online: April 16, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2014

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This bunny escapes all the traps but fails to find a logical plot or an emotional connection with readers.

HOW TO CATCH THE EASTER BUNNY

From the How to Catch… series

The bestselling series (How to Catch an Elf, 2016, etc.) about capturing mythical creatures continues with a story about various ways to catch the Easter Bunny as it makes its annual deliveries.

The bunny narrates its own story in rhyming text, beginning with an introduction at its office in a manufacturing facility that creates Easter eggs and candy. The rabbit then abruptly takes off on its delivery route with a tiny basket of eggs strapped to its back, immediately encountering a trap with carrots and a box propped up with a stick. The narrative focuses on how the Easter Bunny avoids increasingly complex traps set up to catch him with no explanation as to who has set the traps or why. These traps include an underground tunnel, a fluorescent dance floor with a hidden pit of carrots, a robot bunny, pirates on an island, and a cannon that shoots candy fish, as well as some sort of locked, hazardous site with radiation danger. Readers of previous books in the series will understand the premise, but others will be confused by the rabbit’s frenetic escapades. Cartoon-style illustrations have a 1960s vibe, with a slightly scary, bow-tied bunny with chartreuse eyes and a glowing palette of neon shades that shout for attention.

This bunny escapes all the traps but fails to find a logical plot or an emotional connection with readers. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4926-3817-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017

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A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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