Lucky for app bargain hunters, this one’s got it all: a plucky heroine, a funny parrot, lots of treasure and more than...

ALIZAY, PIRATE GIRL

Alizay, the redheaded pirate preteen of the Bonny Clipper, is always up for a hunt for treasure, especially when it’s with her loving dad, Capt. Rubberfoot (his peg leg is a plunger).

When their ship is becalmed near a mysterious isle, she faces a series of challenges that include a “Frogger”-like river crossing, a music game and secrets that are revealed on a treasure map. Throughout, Alizay stays upbeat and brave, collecting four needles that will reveal the secret of the island. In the best way possible, little is left to chance in the app. Illustrations are richly detailed, with cartoonish animation blending seamlessly with scenes that change perspective when readers tilt the iPad. For younger readers who may not be able to solve all the game’s puzzles, there are “Easy,” “Medium” and “Hard” difficulty settings, and most tough spots can be skipped to continue progressing in the story. There’s not much dazzle in the writing, but the app is more like a clever game with a nice back story than a straight storybook narrative. There’s a lot to Alizay’s adventure, so much so that it wouldn’t have been unreasonable if the developers had broken it up into multiple pirate apps.

Lucky for app bargain hunters, this one’s got it all: a plucky heroine, a funny parrot, lots of treasure and more than enough material to stave off boredom at sea. (iPad storybook app. 4-10)

Pub Date: May 25, 2013

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: SlimCricket

Review Posted Online: June 26, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

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Dizzyingly silly.

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE TYRANNICAL RETALIATION OF THE TURBO TOILET 2000

From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 11

The famous superhero returns to fight another villain with all the trademark wit and humor the series is known for.

Despite the title, Captain Underpants is bizarrely absent from most of this adventure. His school-age companions, George and Harold, maintain most of the spotlight. The creative chums fool around with time travel and several wacky inventions before coming upon the evil Turbo Toilet 2000, making its return for vengeance after sitting out a few of the previous books. When the good Captain shows up to save the day, he brings with him dynamic action and wordplay that meet the series’ standards. The Captain Underpants saga maintains its charm even into this, the 11th volume. The epic is filled to the brim with sight gags, toilet humor, flip-o-ramas and anarchic glee. Holding all this nonsense together is the author’s good-natured sense of harmless fun. The humor is never gross or over-the-top, just loud and innocuous. Adults may roll their eyes here and there, but youngsters will eat this up just as quickly as they devoured every other Underpants episode.

Dizzyingly silly. (Humor. 8-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-50490-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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ABIYOYO RETURNS

The seemingly ageless Seeger brings back his renowned giant for another go in a tuneful tale that, like the art, is a bit sketchy, but chockful of worthy messages. Faced with yearly floods and droughts since they’ve cut down all their trees, the townsfolk decide to build a dam—but the project is stymied by a boulder that is too huge to move. Call on Abiyoyo, suggests the granddaughter of the man with the magic wand, then just “Zoop Zoop” him away again. But the rock that Abiyoyo obligingly flings aside smashes the wand. How to avoid Abiyoyo’s destruction now? Sing the monster to sleep, then make it a peaceful, tree-planting member of the community, of course. Seeger sums it up in a postscript: “every community must learn to manage its giants.” Hays, who illustrated the original (1986), creates colorful, if unfinished-looking, scenes featuring a notably multicultural human cast and a towering Cubist fantasy of a giant. The song, based on a Xhosa lullaby, still has that hard-to-resist sing-along potential, and the themes of waging peace, collective action, and the benefits of sound ecological practices are presented in ways that children will both appreciate and enjoy. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83271-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2001

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