Nevertheless, it’s a tasteful and loving adaptation; those who love the original book will find much to admire here.


A digital adaptation of the New York Times best-seller.

The iPad version of Tillman’s popular picture book has a lot going for it. First and foremost, her lush illustrations shine on the tablet screen. Second, Auryn, a developer that’s known for turning out unique, inventive storybook apps, is at the technological helm. They have embedded so many interactions, in fact, that they might overwhelm readers. For example, there are options to record a voice-over of the entire story or provide personalized, page-by-page “whispers” for the moon to utter, but the setup for the latter is rather cumbersome. Kids will love hearing characters occasionally speak their names (which are recorded at the outset). But when the software changes the vocal frequency for various animals, at times it sounds eerily similar to Darth Vader. Still, Auryn hits it out of the park when swarms of birds, ladybugs and glowing lanterns rise to spell out the child’s name. It’s spectacular. And there are other cool components, such as a scrapbook feature that allows for the storage of up to six homespun videos. Advancing pages is counterintuitive (the compulsory index scrolls upward) and exceptionally slow, if also extremely beautiful in the transitions.

Nevertheless, it’s a tasteful and loving adaptation; those who love the original book will find much to admire here. (Requires iOS 6 and above.) (iPad storybook app. 2-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2014


Page Count: -

Publisher: Auryn

Review Posted Online: June 27, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A wandering effort, happy but pointless.


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

Did you like this book?

Both beautiful and inspiring as graduation gift or guide to life.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller


An inspirational picture book offers life advice for readers who want to be themselves.

Replete with sparkling, often quirky illustrations of children living their best lives, this book is a gorgeous guidebook for those seeking encouragement while encountering life’s challenges. The children featured—a racially diverse group ranging from infants to preschoolers—cheerfully navigate the various injunctions that flow through the text: “Be curious.…Be adventurous.…Be persistent.…Be kind.” What is remarkable about the book is that even though the instructions and the brief sentences explaining them are at times vague, the illustrations expand on them in ways readers will find endearing and uplifting. Those depicting painful or challenging moments are especially effective. The “Be persistent” double-page spread shows a child in a boat on stormy seas; it’s rich with deep blues as it emphasizes the energy of wind and rain and struggle in the face of challenge. Together with the accompanying repeated phrase “Keep going, never stop. Keep going, never stop. Keep going, never stop,” this spread arrests readers. By contrast, the “Be kind. Be understanding” spread simply presents two children’s faces, one cast in blue and the other in gold, but the empathy that Reynolds conveys is similarly captivating. While there is no plot to pull readers through the pages, the book provides rich fodder for caregivers to use as teachable moments, both informally and in classroom settings.

Both beautiful and inspiring as graduation gift or guide to life. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-57231-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?