Perfunctory of storyline and unsubtle of decoration, but with a rich and smoothly responsive array of animations, dissolves,...



Swiveling, aesthetically saccharine 3-D pop-up scenes built around a diverse suite of drag-and-tap challenges will engage young readers far more than the classic story’s cursory rendition.

The app opens with a prince’s punishment for rudeness to a scruffy visitor: “Oh no! The witch has trapped the prince inside a giant rock. Tap it to help him escape! ‘Aaaargh! She’s turned me into a horrible Beast!’ ” Once he’s been turned into a comically furry, rotund monster, the familiar story plays out. He showers Belle (the “most beautiful of all,” but “bold and adventurous too”) and her dog Max with gifts before regaining his looks and marriageability by her kiss. The happy couple (plus dog) make up a final tableau that wriggles and emits bursts of floating pink hearts with every tap. Before that, dexterous viewers can save Belle’s father from a wolf and guide him through a snowy maze to a rosebush, sort falling leaves by color, assemble luscious desserts, beat Beast at increasingly quick games of pingpong and like diversions. An index icon on every screen allows quick skipping to any of the nine pop-up spreads (interspersed pages of text are not indexed). Readers can select silent, audio or autoplay options from a “Parent Center” hidden behind an easily foiled trick access.

Perfunctory of storyline and unsubtle of decoration, but with a rich and smoothly responsive array of animations, dissolves, transitions, sound effects and interactive activities. (iPad storybook app. 5-9)

Pub Date: April 25, 2013


Page Count: -

Publisher: StoryToys

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2013

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A larger-than-life subject is neatly captured in text and images.


The life journey of the first African American to serve on the United States Supreme Court and the incidents that formed him.

Thurgood Marshall grew up in segregated Baltimore, Maryland, with a family that encouraged him to stand for justice. Despite attending poor schools, he found a way to succeed. His father instilled in him a love of the law and encouraged him to argue like a lawyer during dinner conversations. His success in college meant he could go to law school, but the University of Maryland did not accept African American students. Instead, Marshall went to historically black Howard University, where he was mentored by civil rights lawyer Charles Houston. Marshall’s first major legal case was against the law school that denied him a place, and his success brought him to the attention of the NAACP and ultimately led to his work on the groundbreaking Brown v. Board of Education, which itself led to his appointment to the Supreme Court. This lively narrative serves as an introduction to the life of one of the country’s important civil rights figures. Important facts in Marshall’s life are effectively highlighted in an almost staccato fashion. The bold watercolor-and-collage illustrations, beginning with an enticing cover, capture and enhance the strong tone set by the words.

A larger-than-life subject is neatly captured in text and images. (author’s note, photos) (Picture book/biography. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6533-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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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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