A “cheesy” episode with a double twist at the end. Younger audiences may need at least part of the joke explained.

JOURNEY TO THE MOON

In this very simple pop-up book, a rocket ship blasts off from Earth, hums through space, and touches down at last on the moon—with a goopy “BLOOP.”

“The countdown’s begun. My rocket is ready!” Perched atop dramatic red and orange exhaust constructed from long folded strips and die-cut pop-up ladders, the rocket blasts off from green hills, floats against starry backdrops, and spirals its way toward a yellow moon that turns out to be considerably mushier than the dusty rock plain on which the Apollo astronauts walked. Though preceded by a broad earlier hint, a further surprise awaits on the final spread, as the first full view of the rocket’s pilot and the pilot’s waiting mom reveals that the journey was actually a return home. The flat, posterlike art and the medium-height 3-D effects are printed on sturdy stock and, being big enough to be visible across a large room, equally suitable for sharing with one prospective space traveler or a group.

A “cheesy” episode with a double twist at the end. Younger audiences may need at least part of the joke explained. (Pop-up picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0072-2

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2015

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Watching unlikely friends finally be as “happy as two someones can be” feels like being enveloped in your very own hug.

THE HUG

What to do when you’re a prickly animal hankering for a hug? Why, find another misfit animal also searching for an embrace!

Sweet but “tricky to hug” little Hedgehog is down in the dumps. Wandering the forest, Hedgehog begs different animals for hugs, but each rejects them. Readers will giggle at their panicked excuses—an evasive squirrel must suddenly count its three measly acorns; a magpie begins a drawn-out song—but will also be indignant on poor hedgehog’s behalf. Hedgehog has the appealingly pink-cheeked softness typical of Dunbar’s art, and the gentle watercolors are nonthreatening, though she also captures the animals’ genuine concern about being poked. A wise owl counsels the dejected hedgehog that while the prickles may frighten some, “there’s someone for everyone.” That’s when Hedgehog spots a similarly lonely tortoise, rejected due to its “very hard” shell but perfectly matched for a spiky new friend. They race toward each other until the glorious meeting, marked with swoony peach swirls and overjoyed grins. At this point, readers flip the book to hear the same gloomy tale from the tortoise’s perspective until it again culminates in that joyous hug, a book turn that’s made a pleasure with thick creamy paper and solid binding.

Watching unlikely friends finally be as “happy as two someones can be” feels like being enveloped in your very own hug. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-571-34875-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Faber & Faber

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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Readers will be charmed as Harold draws himself in and out of trouble and finally home to bed in this subtle blend of...

HAROLD AND THE PURPLE CRAYON

Harold takes a walk in the moonlight down the path of imagination and although this time the bunnies hop and the winds blow, nothing of the dreamy simplicity of the journey is lost.

Elegantly adapted by Trilogy Studios to the iPad and featuring the same minimalist lines of Johnson's 1955 original, this app allows children to join in as Harold wields his purple crayon to create his gently perilous adventure. Along the way, the many hidden interactions allow readers to animate the scenes, shaking apples from the tree and making the guard dragon catch them in his mouth. Kids can fill the moonlit sky with stars and zoom in on hatchling birds in the mountains; they can cause a swirling wind to fill the sails of Harold's boat and help him sample all nine flavors of pie. All the while, it maintains the flavor of a simple line-drawn story. When touched, most objects and characters are identified both verbally and in text to add an extra level of learning for early readers. Options include Read to Me, in which each word appears as it is spoken by the narrator; Touch Tale, a fully interactive version prefaced with a clear tutorial; and Read to Myself. All modes are accompanied by tinkly music.

Readers will be charmed as Harold draws himself in and out of trouble and finally home to bed in this subtle blend of animation and story. (iPad storybook app. 2-5)

Pub Date: July 30, 2011

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Trill Publishing

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2011

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