Combine the magic of Ms. Frizzle’s bus with realistic 3-D digital imagery to get a sense of what it’s like to manipulate the...


Interactive features grab young readers’ attention, encouraging them to manipulate images, exploring the ways different systems fit together in the human body.

This multilayered informational experience explores eight systems: the nervous, digestive, respiratory, skeletal, urinary, sensory, muscular and cardiovascular systems. It combines audio, visual and interactive elements to engage readers, as they watch videos, learn about specific organs and structures, and take animated “rocket tours” through medically accurate 3-D models. Within each section there is an icon representing the whole body; tapping it allows young readers to add and take away different systems, virtually “dissecting” the body as they peel away layers. Narrated tours and videos provide accessible, friendly introductions to each system. Outstanding illustrations, excellent narration and relatively simple text keep readers engaged throughout. Navigation would be improved by a table of contents accessible from each page, icon labels and sound-effect setting controls. For a more detailed digital exploration, see DK’s multitouch enhanced iBook, The Human Body, which has more text and fewer interactive elements. Younger readers might enjoy exploring the wordless interactive app Human Body (TinyBop, 2013).

Combine the magic of Ms. Frizzle’s bus with realistic 3-D digital imagery to get a sense of what it’s like to manipulate the images in this dynamic app. (Requires iOS 7 and above.) (iPad informational app. 8-12)

Pub Date: April 17, 2014


Page Count: -

Publisher: Zybright

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2014

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Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs.


From the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series , Vol. 14

The Heffley family’s house undergoes a disastrous attempt at home improvement.

When Great Aunt Reba dies, she leaves some money to the family. Greg’s mom calls a family meeting to determine what to do with their share, proposing home improvements and then overruling the family’s cartoonish wish lists and instead pushing for an addition to the kitchen. Before bringing in the construction crew, the Heffleys attempt to do minor maintenance and repairs themselves—during which Greg fails at the work in various slapstick scenes. Once the professionals are brought in, the problems keep getting worse: angry neighbors, terrifying problems in walls, and—most serious—civil permitting issues that put the kibosh on what work’s been done. Left with only enough inheritance to patch and repair the exterior of the house—and with the school’s dismal standardized test scores as a final straw—Greg’s mom steers the family toward moving, opening up house-hunting and house-selling storylines (and devastating loyal Rowley, who doesn’t want to lose his best friend). While Greg’s positive about the move, he’s not completely uncaring about Rowley’s action. (And of course, Greg himself is not as unaffected as he wishes.) The gags include effectively placed callbacks to seemingly incidental events (the “stress lizard” brought in on testing day is particularly funny) and a lampoon of after-school-special–style problem books. Just when it seems that the Heffleys really will move, a new sequence of chaotic trouble and property destruction heralds a return to the status quo. Whew.

Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3903-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 19, 2019

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Dizzyingly silly.


From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 11

The famous superhero returns to fight another villain with all the trademark wit and humor the series is known for.

Despite the title, Captain Underpants is bizarrely absent from most of this adventure. His school-age companions, George and Harold, maintain most of the spotlight. The creative chums fool around with time travel and several wacky inventions before coming upon the evil Turbo Toilet 2000, making its return for vengeance after sitting out a few of the previous books. When the good Captain shows up to save the day, he brings with him dynamic action and wordplay that meet the series’ standards. The Captain Underpants saga maintains its charm even into this, the 11th volume. The epic is filled to the brim with sight gags, toilet humor, flip-o-ramas and anarchic glee. Holding all this nonsense together is the author’s good-natured sense of harmless fun. The humor is never gross or over-the-top, just loud and innocuous. Adults may roll their eyes here and there, but youngsters will eat this up just as quickly as they devoured every other Underpants episode.

Dizzyingly silly. (Humor. 8-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-50490-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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