Dr. Lilliput’s tale is much like a spoonful of sugar: sweet but not actually beneficial, unless it helps the medicine go...


Dr. Lilliput might make a sick child laugh, but he won’t really help readers understand what’s happening when they get a cold.

Whenever the villain Virus and his Band of Bacteria strike, the good doctor knows just what to do. Young Linus has come down with a cold, so the miniature Dr. Lilliput flies his trusty ambulance right up into Linus’ nose to battle the infection. Linus’ immune system, personified as guards trapped inside the sticky mucus, cannot fight the virus until Dr. Lilliput sets them free with squirts of saline spray. The cartoon illustrations and interactive games will draw readers into the story, but they provide humorous treatment rather than factual information. It is never quite clear how the guards battle the virus or how camomile flowers help soothe Linus’ sore throat. Fact boxes, hidden behind info buttons, do not provide enough detail to answer these and other questions. The English-accented narration is smooth, but interactions can be sluggish. In addition, an inadvertent tilt of the iPad can cause the ambulance to disappear, leaving readers unable to get it to Linus’ nose. One fact box is in German, without English translation.

Dr. Lilliput’s tale is much like a spoonful of sugar: sweet but not actually beneficial, unless it helps the medicine go down. (Requires iPad 2 and above.) (iPad storybook app. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 24, 2014


Page Count: -

Publisher: GESAMTKUNSTWERK Entertaiment GmbH

Review Posted Online: Aug. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

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Each time the witch loses something in the windy weather, she and her cat are introduced to a new friend who loves flying on her broom. The fluid rhyming and smooth rhythm work together with one repetitive plot element focusing young attention spans until the plot quickens. (“Is there room on the broom for a blank such as me?”) When the witch’s broom breaks, she is thrown in to danger and the plot flies to the finish. Her friends—cat, dog, frog, and bird—are not likely to scare the dragon who plans on eating the witch, but together they form a formidable, gooey, scary-sounding monster. The use of full-page or even page-and-a-half spreads for many of the illustrations will ensure its successful use in story times as well as individual readings. The wart-nosed witch and her passengers make magic that is sure to please. Effective use of brilliant colors set against well-conceived backgrounds detail the story without need for text—but with it, the story—and the broom—take off. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-8037-2557-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2001

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Only for dedicated fans of the series.


From the How To Catch… series

When a kid gets the part of the ninja master in the school play, it finally seems to be the right time to tackle the closet monster.

“I spot my monster right away. / He’s practicing his ROAR. / He almost scares me half to death, / but I won’t be scared anymore!” The monster is a large, fluffy poison-green beast with blue hands and feet and face and a fluffy blue-and-green–striped tail. The kid employs a “bag of tricks” to try to catch the monster: in it are a giant wind-up shark, two cans of silly string, and an elaborate cage-and-robot trap. This last works, but with an unexpected result: the monster looks sad. Turns out he was only scaring the boy to wake him up so they could be friends. The monster greets the boy in the usual monster way: he “rips a massive FART!!” that smells like strawberries and lime, and then they go to the monster’s house to meet his parents and play. The final two spreads show the duo getting ready for bed, which is a rather anticlimactic end to what has otherwise been a rambunctious tale. Elkerton’s bright illustrations have a TV-cartoon aesthetic, and his playful beast is never scary. The narrator is depicted with black eyes and hair and pale skin. Wallace’s limping verses are uninspired at best, and the scansion and meter are frequently off.

Only for dedicated fans of the series. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4926-4894-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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