A simple, sweet tome that will likely appeal to very young learners.



Magical creatures guide readers through various actions in McGonigal’s debut interactive picture book.

Aria, a dragon, and Sapphire, a butterfly, find themselves lost after visiting The Forest of Sparkles. They ask readers to shake the book so they can get back home to the Enchanted Forest. There, they encounter their fish friend, Finn. Aria and Sapphire ask readers to clap, run, and greet Finn loudly. They also say that “banging on the floor with your hands, like a drum” will help Finn swim home quickly. Next, Sapphire urges readers to “spin around three times” to help her fly. Aria also requires assistance because her wings lost their sparkles; readers are requested to “jump up and down three times” and “sing the sparkle song,” a short chant on the following page. The book concludes with a rhyming goodbye. The emphasis on audience participation makes this book best suited as a classroom read-aloud as opposed to a quiet bedtime story. The integrated elements that focus on motor and cognitive skills are clever, and the colorful, whimsically executed illustrations offer much-needed clarification. Because there are two narrators, the first-person perspective can become confusing, particularly as Aria and Sapphire use “we” statements while also referencing each other by name. Dialogue tags would also have been helpful.

A simple, sweet tome that will likely appeal to very young learners.

Pub Date: Oct. 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5255-3230-6

Page Count: 28

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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The greening of Dr. Seuss, in an ecology fable with an obvious message but a savingly silly style. In the desolate land of the Lifted Lorax, an aged creature called the Once-ler tells a young visitor how he arrived long ago in the then glorious country and began manufacturing anomalous objects called Thneeds from "the bright-colored tufts of the Truffula Trees." Despite protests from the Lorax, a native "who speaks for the trees," he continues to chop down Truffulas until he drives away the Brown Bar-ba-loots who had fed on the Tuffula fruit, the Swomee-Swans who can't sing a note for the smogulous smoke, and the Humming-Fish who had hummed in the pond now glumped up with Gluppity-Glupp. As for the Once-let, "1 went right on biggering, selling more Thneeds./ And I biggered my money, which everyone needs" — until the last Truffula falls. But one seed is left, and the Once-let hands it to his listener, with a message from the Lorax: "UNLESS someone like you/ cares a whole awful lot,/ nothing is going to get better./ It's not." The spontaneous madness of the old Dr. Seuss is absent here, but so is the boredom he often induced (in parents, anyway) with one ridiculous invention after another. And if the Once-let doesn't match the Grinch for sheer irresistible cussedness, he is stealing a lot more than Christmas and his story just might induce a generation of six-year-olds to care a whole lot.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 1971

ISBN: 0394823370

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1971

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