A pale, pale cousin of Tullet’s best-seller.

READ REVIEW

TAP TO PLAY!

Blip is a round red creature who’s out to win a game.

He tells readers he needs to reach a numbered bar (it looks like a horizontal row of five Tetris blocks) to win. He is very willing to tell readers how they can help him win and “get a surprise.” Shake the book so he bounces—but that’s too fast. Tilt to the right and then left (the countdown of five numbers is now at four). How about tapping? Or filling up your mouth with air so Blip will blow up like a balloon? The numbers are down to one! But then the game is won, and suddenly sharing the plain white background is a green door, with a purple figure visible through its window. The surprise is a new friend, purple and clearly feminine, gender coded with eyelashes and a yellow bow in her topknot. The graphics are clear, sharp and geometric, pleasing and vivid against white backgrounds. Blip is quite direct about what he wants readers to do, and they may indeed enjoy the shouting, tapping, whispering and shaking. If they do, chances are good they are not familiar with Hervé Tullet’s Press Here (2011), which sets the bar extremely high for any book that attempts to mimic the interaction of a tablet or computer game. Blip does not meet it.

A pale, pale cousin of Tullet’s best-seller. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 7, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-06-228684-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

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Pair this with Leo Timmers’ Who Is Driving? (2007) for twice the guessing fun.

CLOTHESLINE CLUES TO JOBS PEOPLE DO

From the Clothesline Clues series

Heling and Hembrook’s clever conceit challenges children to analyze a small town’s clotheslines to guess the job each of their owners does. 

Close-up on the clothesline: “Uniform and cap, / an invite for you. / Big bag of letters. / What job does she do?” A turn of the page reveals a macro view of the home, van and the woman doing her job, “She is a mail carrier.” Indeed, she can be spotted throughout the book delivering invitations to all the rest of the characters, who gather at the end for a “Launch Party.” The verses’ rhymes are spot-on, though the rhythm falters a couple of times. The authors nicely mix up the gender stereotypes often associated with several of these occupations, making the carpenter, firefighter and astronaut women. But while Davies keeps uniforms and props pretty neutral (he even avoids U.S. mail symbols), he keeps to the stereotypes that allow young readers to easily identify occupations—the farmer chews on a stalk of wheat; the beret-wearing artist sports a curly mustache. A subdued palette and plain white backgrounds keep kids’ focus on the clothing clues. Still, there are plenty of details to absorb—the cat with arched back that anticipates a spray of water, the firefighter who “lights” the rocket.

Pair this with Leo Timmers’ Who Is Driving? (2007) for twice the guessing fun. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-58089-251-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 16, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2012

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THE GRUFFALO

The action of this rhymed and humorous tale centers upon a mouse who "took a stroll/through the deep dark wood./A fox saw the mouse/and the mouse looked good." The mouse escapes being eaten by telling the fox that he is on his way to meet his friend the gruffalo (a monster of his imagination), whose favorite food is roasted fox. The fox beats a hasty retreat. Similar escapes are in store for an owl and a snake; both hightail it when they learn the particulars: tusks, claws, terrible jaws, eyes orange, tongue black, purple prickles on its back. When the gruffalo suddenly materializes out of the mouse's head and into the forest, the mouse has to think quick, declaring himself inedible as the "scariest creature in the deep dark wood," and inviting the gruffalo to follow him to witness the effect he has on the other creatures. When the gruffalo hears that the mouse's favorite food is gruffalo crumble, he runs away. It's a fairly innocuous tale, with twists that aren't sharp enough and treachery that has no punch. Scheffler's funny scenes prevent the suspense from culminating; all his creatures, predator and prey, are downright lovable. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8037-2386-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1999

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