A rewarding alternative for children who find the digital edition of Hervé Tullet’s Press Here (2012) too relentlessly...

YELLOW, RED, BLUE AND IF I GET ANGRY GREY

This inventive pairing of colors with musical riffs offers almost unlimited opportunities for visual and aural experimentation—plus jigsaw puzzles for more structured entertainment.

Each of the four colors are introduced individually with their musical themes, first by blank screens to draw on and then stylized, big-eared animals whose parts can be moved about with a fingertip or left to separate in a tilt-sensitive drift. On following screens, the color fields and the figures appear in combinations that can be reordered or rearranged to create both color changes and musical juxtapositions or even, with rhythmic tapping, multilayered arpeggios. The title screen’s “Play” option leads to three jigsaws and an unusual kaleidoscopic puzzle that all use the same set of shapes and colors in fresh compositions. Comical grunts, drawing lines that transform into flights of butterflies and other small flourishes enhance the artfully designed interaction. There is no narration or text, but children will find that in addition to drawing and playing with colors, they can create a story that ends with enormously satisfying chortles.

A rewarding alternative for children who find the digital edition of Hervé Tullet’s Press Here (2012) too relentlessly inscrutable. (iPad play app. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 22, 2013

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: WARE'S ME

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2013

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Hee haw.

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THE WONKY DONKEY

The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2018

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This bunny escapes all the traps but fails to find a logical plot or an emotional connection with readers.

HOW TO CATCH THE EASTER BUNNY

From the How to Catch… series

The bestselling series (How to Catch an Elf, 2016, etc.) about capturing mythical creatures continues with a story about various ways to catch the Easter Bunny as it makes its annual deliveries.

The bunny narrates its own story in rhyming text, beginning with an introduction at its office in a manufacturing facility that creates Easter eggs and candy. The rabbit then abruptly takes off on its delivery route with a tiny basket of eggs strapped to its back, immediately encountering a trap with carrots and a box propped up with a stick. The narrative focuses on how the Easter Bunny avoids increasingly complex traps set up to catch him with no explanation as to who has set the traps or why. These traps include an underground tunnel, a fluorescent dance floor with a hidden pit of carrots, a robot bunny, pirates on an island, and a cannon that shoots candy fish, as well as some sort of locked, hazardous site with radiation danger. Readers of previous books in the series will understand the premise, but others will be confused by the rabbit’s frenetic escapades. Cartoon-style illustrations have a 1960s vibe, with a slightly scary, bow-tied bunny with chartreuse eyes and a glowing palette of neon shades that shout for attention.

This bunny escapes all the traps but fails to find a logical plot or an emotional connection with readers. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4926-3817-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017

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