Look elsewhere for reassurance for sick little ones.

THE LITTLE PATIENT

Sweet artwork and good intentions are the highlights of this storybook app.

Jazmin isn’t feeling well, and her family is concerned. Niki tries to coax her off the couch, but she has no luck. “ ‘Jazmin, come catch me!’ Niki shouted enthusiastically, but Jazmin did not feel like playing catch.” The next morning, Jazmin’s mother takes her to the doctor—indeed, an ear infection is causing these problems. Cheerful, childlike illustrations help set a positive tone for this story. With a little medicine and plenty of rest, Jazmin gets better in just a few days. Unfortunately, good intentions suffer from a lackluster final product. The page turns are clunky, with relatively long, black-screened pauses between pages. Interactive features are often distracting; readers can make toys bounce and tumble, marring the solemn effect. Although the characters are expressive, the animations are stiff. The narration is pleasant, and readers who wish to may easily turn off the music and narration on the home page. The simple sticker game won’t occupy little ones for long. Readers coping with their own sniffles should turn to the very funny Even Monsters Get Sick, by Michael Bruza, or the reassuring Maisy Goes to the Hospital, by Lucy Cousins, instead.

Look elsewhere for reassurance for sick little ones. (iPad storybook app. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 16, 2014

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Erik Simko

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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A wandering effort, happy but pointless.

DRAGONS LOVE TACOS

From the Dragons Love Tacos series

The perfect book for kids who love dragons and mild tacos.

Rubin’s story starts with an incantatory edge: “Hey, kid! Did you know that dragons love tacos? They love beef tacos and chicken tacos. They love really big gigantic tacos and tiny little baby tacos as well.” The playing field is set: dragons, tacos. As a pairing, they are fairly silly, and when the kicker comes in—that dragons hate spicy salsa, which ignites their inner fireworks—the silliness is sillier still. Second nature, after all, is for dragons to blow flames out their noses. So when the kid throws a taco party for the dragons, it seems a weak device that the clearly labeled “totally mild” salsa comes with spicy jalapenos in the fine print, prompting the dragons to burn down the house, resulting in a barn-raising at which more tacos are served. Harmless, but if there is a parable hidden in the dragon-taco tale, it is hidden in the unlit deep, and as a measure of lunacy, bridled or unbridled, it doesn’t make the leap into the outer reaches of imagination. Salmieri’s artwork is fitting, with a crabbed, ethereal line work reminiscent of Peter Sís, but the story does not offer it enough range.

A wandering effort, happy but pointless. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 14, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3680-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2012

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