Otherwise a seamless adaptation of a modern classic, inventively enhanced, hilarious, a joy to read—particularly aloud.

WILD ABOUT BOOKS

Still the best Dr. Seuss tribute ever, Sierra’s rhymed 2004 tale of a librarian who gets all the animals in the zoo reading and writing is even funnier and more kinetic with digital flourishes.

Though Molly McGrew drives her bookmobile into the zoo by mistake, she does such a fine job turning her animal audience on to reading and writing that by the end there’s nothing for it but to build a branch library on the grounds. Here, an uncredited but engagingly exuberant narrator reads it aloud while each word is highlighted. The bouncy, playful verses—“Raccoons read alone and baboons read in bunches. / And llamas read dramas while eating their llunches”—accompany 17 brightly colored tableaus, each composed of layers that pop into view and roll back and forth with tilts of the tablet. Along with automatic but undistracting movements, there are balloons and balls to lead with a finger; blinks, nods, hysterical laughter (from the hyenas) and roars that are induced by a finger tap; “stinging” comments from an ill-tempered scorpion—even the occasional stampede. The narration and the soundtrack can be switched off separately, and an index of thumbnail images provides repeat visitors with shortcuts to favorite pages. As apps go this one is a little slow to load, and the art’s tilt-induced rolling may induce queasy stomachs (particularly for readers in moving vehicles) if overdone.

Otherwise a seamless adaptation of a modern classic, inventively enhanced, hilarious, a joy to read—particularly aloud. (iPad storybook app. 5-9)

Pub Date: Jan. 21, 2011

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Random House Digital

Review Posted Online: May 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Empathetic art and lyrical text blend for a touching and empowering tale.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

AARON SLATER, ILLUSTRATOR

From the Questioneers series

The latest book in the Questioneer series centers an African American boy who has dyslexia.

Roberts’ characteristic cartoon illustrations open on a family of six that includes two mothers of color, children of various abilities and racial presentations, and two very amused cats. In a style more expressive and stirring than other books in the series, Beaty presents a boy overcoming insecurities related to reading comprehension. Like Harlem Renaissance artist Aaron Douglas, the boy’s namesake, the protagonist loves to draw. More than drawing, however, young Aaron wishes to write, but when he tries to read, the letters appear scrambled (effectively illustrated with a string of wobbly, often backward letters that trail across the pages). The child retreats into drawing. After an entire school year of struggle, Aaron decides to just “blend in.” At the beginning of the next school year, a writing prompt from a new teacher inspires Aaron, who spends his evening attempting to write “a story. Write something true.” The next day in class, having failed to put words on paper, Aaron finds his voice and launches into a story that shows how “beauty and kindness and loving and art / lend courage to all with a welcoming heart.” In the illustration, a tableau of colorful mythological beings embodies Aaron’s tale. The text is set in a dyslexia-friendly type. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Empathetic art and lyrical text blend for a touching and empowering tale. (author's note, illustrator's note) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4197-5396-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

What a wag.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

DOG MAN

From the Dog Man series , Vol. 1

What do you get from sewing the head of a smart dog onto the body of a tough police officer? A new superhero from the incorrigible creator of Captain Underpants.

Finding a stack of old Dog Man comics that got them in trouble back in first grade, George and Harold decide to craft a set of new(ish) adventures with (more or less) improved art and spelling. These begin with an origin tale (“A Hero Is Unleashed”), go on to a fiendish attempt to replace the chief of police with a “Robo Chief” and then a temporarily successful scheme to make everyone stupid by erasing all the words from every book (“Book ’Em, Dog Man”), and finish off with a sort of attempted alien invasion evocatively titled “Weenie Wars: The Franks Awaken.” In each, Dog Man squares off against baddies (including superinventor/archnemesis Petey the cat) and saves the day with a clever notion. With occasional pauses for Flip-O-Rama featurettes, the tales are all framed in brightly colored sequential panels with hand-lettered dialogue (“How do you feel, old friend?” “Ruff!”) and narrative. The figures are studiously diverse, with police officers of both genders on view and George, the chief, and several other members of the supporting cast colored in various shades of brown. Pilkey closes as customary with drawing exercises, plus a promise that the canine crusader will be further unleashed in a sequel.

What a wag. (Graphic fantasy. 7-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-545-58160-8

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

more