Review of Flop to the Top!

davis_flop to the top

 Flop to the Top! by Eleanor Davis and Drew Weing; 
illus. by the authors Primary   TOON   38 pp. 9/15   978-1-935179-89-4   $12.95 Wanda is a superstar — in her own mind. Oblivious to her family’s dismay, she forces everyone within arm’s reach to endure invasive photos, rude orders, and diva-like dismissals. After posting a selfie taken […]

Review of The Day the Crayons 
Came Home

daywalt_Day the Crayons Came Home

The Day the Crayons 
Came Home by Drew Daywalt; 
illus. by Oliver Jeffers Primary   Philomel   48 pp. 9/15   978-0-399-17275-5   $18.99   g The personified crayons who revolted against their little-boy owner, Duncan, in The Day the Crayons Quit (rev. 11/13) are writing again. This time, instead of sending indignant resignation letters, they send indignant postcards from […]

Tayasui Tangram app review

tangram title screen

Tayasui Tangram (Tayasui, 2013), which bills itself as “a modern variation of the classic chinese [sic] puzzle,” has two main areas: “Models” and “Build.” The “Models” section was exactly what I think of when I hear the word tangram: puzzles using geometric shapes. There are three screens’ worth of animal outlines; the puzzles get progressively […]

Lights, camera, chapter books!

davis_flop to the top

These lighthearted outings for early primary readers offer adventures both everyday (a run-in with a teacher, a classmate rivalry) and extraordinary (a dog’s rise to superstardom and…a ghost raccoon sighting). In Eleanor Davis and Drew Weing’s Flop to the Top!, young Wanda is a superstar — in her own mind. After posting a selfie taken […]

Review of Elephant in the Dark

Javaherbin_elephant in the dark

Elephant in the Dark: Based on a Poem by Rumi retold by Mina Javaherbin; 
illus. by Eugene Yelchin Primary   Scholastic   40 pp. 8/15   978-0-545-63670-4   $17.99   g Merchant Ahmad brings a mysterious creature to his village, “all the way from India!” While Ahmad sleeps, the curious villagers climb through a window in his barn and feel […]

Review of Tiptoe Tapirs

kim_tiptoe tapirs

 Tiptoe Tapirs by Hanmin Kim; illus. by the author; trans. from the Korean by Sera Lee Preschool, Primary   Holiday   40 pp. 8/15   978-0-8234-3395-7   $16.95 e-book ed. 978-0-8234-3495-4   $16.95 First published in South Korea in 2013, this pourquoi tale explaining why animals move stealthily begins in the jungle long ago when animals were all quite noisy […]

Toca Boo app review

toca boo candle

Just in time for Halloween, little ones can play Toca Boo (Toca Boca, 2014), a virtual version of that thing where you sneak up on someone and yell “Boo!” A little red-spectacled girl pulls a sheet over her head and floats around her dark-and-shadowy house looking for victims; readers use their finger to lead her […]

Review of Funny Bones

tonatiuh_funny bones

Funny Bones: Posada and His Day 
of the Dead Calaveras by Duncan Tonatiuh; 
illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate   Abrams   40 pp. 8/15   978-1-4197-1647-8   $18.95 Artist José Guadalupe Posada (1852–1915) didn’t invent calaveras, the iconic skeletons associated with Mexico’s Day of the Dead celebration, but they attained their greatest popularity during the twenty-four years that […]

MarcoPolo Arctic app review

arctic menu

On the opening screen of MarcoPolo Arctic (MarcoPolo, August 2015), a polar bear and cub nap on the ice, a horned, green creature lying directly across from the pair with a camera. The arctic is represented in white and shades of blue, with a cartoon-like, 2D style reminiscent of cut-paper collage. Hit the play button […]

Review of James to the Rescue!

broach_james to the rescue

James to the Rescue! [Masterpiece Adventures] by Elise Broach; illus. by Kelly Murphy Primary   Ottaviano/Holt   104 pp. 10/15   978-1-62779-316-2   $15.99   g e-book ed. 978-1-62779-317-9   $9.99 There is something universally compelling about little critters having their own world, mostly hidden from adults (witness the staying power of the Littles, the Borrowers, and the Doll People), and […]