An irresistible invitation to free play with one of Carle’s signature characters (plus cameos from some others).

MY VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR

Caterpillar gets an extended play space in this bright, minimalist, seemingly artless app.

The action plays out on five continuous screens. Readers can pull apples (later pears, plums, etc.) down from trees and drag them into position; they can water seeds and plants to produce flowers or strawberries; they can open a toy box and fetch a ball (and other toys, like an aggressive windup ladybug, on later visits); they can urge the caterpillar onto a raft to float among rubber duckies. The fifth scene features a stump, onto which the caterpillar can be nudged for a nap while the off-screen “stations” are reset with additional fruit or other items. The original tale’s buffet of desserts and junk food never appears (alas?). Rendered in Carle’s distinctive style, the figures all pop off the plain, white backgrounds—particularly the caterpillar, who munches through fruit, swings on a vine, makes eye contact with viewers and creeps about energetically while growing increasingly chubby. Ultimately, the lumpy larva disappears into a chrysalis that can be flicked opened to free a big, colorful butterfly. A tap-hatchable egg then appears to kick off subsequent rounds. Above each “station,” small bars gradually fill in to let users know that it’s time to move on; otherwise, aside from an occasional arrow, there is no narrative, text or other prompt. Nonetheless, even very young children will quickly get the hang of things.

An irresistible invitation to free play with one of Carle’s signature characters (plus cameos from some others). (Requires iOS 6 and above.) (iPad activity app. 1-3)

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2014

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: StoryToys

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

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THE GOING TO BED BOOK

From the Boynton Moo Media series

Preserving the look of the classic board book—even to the trim size and rounded corners—this makeover folds new into old in such inventive ways that it may take more than a few passes to discover all the interactive features. Aboard a ship that rocks in response to a tilt of the tablet a set of animal passengers bounce belowdecks. First they take a bath featuring user-created bubbles, and then they brush their teeth using water so hot that the whole screen hazes up with wipe-able “steam.” Pajama-clad, all then wobble—or, tweaked by a finger, rocket—back outside for a bit of exercise before bed. (Readers control this part by twirling the moon.) In the finest animation of all, every touch of the night sky in the final scene brings a twinkling star into temporary being. Along with making small movements that resemble paper-engineered popup effects, Boynton’s wide eyed passengers also twitch or squeak (or both) when tapped. And though they don’t seem particularly sleepy or conducive to heavy lids, an optional reading by British singer Billy J. Kramer (whose well-traveled voice also pronounces each word individually at a touch), backed by soothing piano music, supplies an effectively soporific audio. “The day is done. / They say good night, / and somebody / turns off the light.” This is as beautiful as the developer’s earlier PopOut! Peter Rabbit while styling itself perfectly to Boynton's whimsy. (Ipad board-book app. 1-3)

Pub Date: March 7, 2011

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Loud Crow Interactive

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

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This will have readers putting on their dancing shoes to do the “cha cha cha” with their dino-babies

DINOSAUR DANCE!

It's not the first time dinosaurs have been featured in a clever Boynton board book. It seems she—and we—can't get enough.

As her fans know, Boynton has a sly wit that respects the intelligence of her young fans and amuses the adults asked to “read it again.” In this book she introduces nine dinosaurs, each of which dances in a way that seems totally appropriate for that particular species. “The blue Stegosaurus goes SHIMMY SHIMMY SHAKE. / The red Brontosaurus goes QUIVERY QUAKE.” Drawing on her experience as a children’s musician, she writes a text that trips along like a song with rhymes that make sense but don't intrude. The illustrations, typical Boynton, reflect her greeting-card background. They are cartoonish but manage to capture the unique personality of each creature. The unnamed dinosaur narrator looks genuinely distraught at not being able to name the “tiny little dino” that “goes DEEDLY DEE.” Spoiler alert: the tiny little dinosaur is probably Compsognathus and would be about the size of a small chicken. Young dinophiles would be impressed if the dinosaurologists in their lives could supply that factoid, but alas, they will have to look it up.

This will have readers putting on their dancing shoes to do the “cha cha cha” with their dino-babies . (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-8099-4

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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