Standard fare with some satisfying interactive features. (iPad storybook app. 3-8)

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STRIDING BIRD

AN INTERACTIVE TALE

In a twist on a familiar tale, a small bird decides to give up flying and become a land creature.

Striding Bird envies his four-legged friends, who don’t have to worry about strong winds sweeping them or their homes away. So he tucks away his wings, practices walking and makes his home in a hollow log on land. Striding Bird is quite content until a thunderstorm washes him and his home away. While he is bemoaning his fate, he meets a one-legged bird with a broken wing who is whistling as he repairs his nest. After some reflection, Striding Bird realizes that “real happiness comes with appreciating what he had, instead of what he did not.” The story is predictable and uninventive, although Striding Bird is an appealing character. Interesting interactions liven up the unremarkable artwork. Moving a finger from the center of the screen will cause winds to blow, day to turn to night, lightning to strike, etc. A navigation bar and brief tutorial is accessible on each page. Some minor annoyances include having to press a narration button on each page, not being able to turn off the music without muting the iPad, and some intermittent crashes.

Standard fare with some satisfying interactive features.  (iPad storybook app. 3-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2012

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Striding Bird Productions

Review Posted Online: April 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2012

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ROOM ON THE BROOM

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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Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with...

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CREEPY PAIR OF UNDERWEAR!

Reynolds and Brown have crafted a Halloween tale that balances a really spooky premise with the hilarity that accompanies any mention of underwear.

Jasper Rabbit needs new underwear. Plain White satisfies him until he spies them: “Creepy underwear! So creepy! So comfy! They were glorious.” The underwear of his dreams is a pair of radioactive-green briefs with a Frankenstein face on the front, the green color standing out all the more due to Brown’s choice to do the entire book in grayscale save for the underwear’s glowing green…and glow they do, as Jasper soon discovers. Despite his “I’m a big rabbit” assertion, that glow creeps him out, so he stuffs them in the hamper and dons Plain White. In the morning, though, he’s wearing green! He goes to increasing lengths to get rid of the glowing menace, but they don’t stay gone. It’s only when Jasper finally admits to himself that maybe he’s not such a big rabbit after all that he thinks of a clever solution to his fear of the dark. Brown’s illustrations keep the backgrounds and details simple so readers focus on Jasper’s every emotion, writ large on his expressive face. And careful observers will note that the underwear’s expression also changes, adding a bit more creep to the tale.

Perfect for those looking for a scary Halloween tale that won’t leave them with more fears than they started with. Pair with Dr. Seuss’ tale of animate, empty pants. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4424-0298-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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