All in all, it’s lightweight fare that may elicit some giggles but not much more.

READ REVIEW

DABBY DILL & THE HICCUP PICKLE

Simple, amusing animations add some life to a fairly predictable story.

Dabby Dill just can’t stop hiccupping, so she turns to her family and friends to help her out. Her dad brings a glass of water, and Emma tells her to blow on her thumb, but nothing helps. Auntie NaNa finally offers a sweet suggestion that works. Digital cartoon illustrations add to the bright, cheerful tone of the story, although the color scheme is reminiscent of a Polly Pocket dollhouse. Each page contains several animations that readers trigger by tapping, but as they often lack any connection to story or theme, they will likely distract readers instead of adding to their understanding. Supplemental nonfiction text that provides information on hiccups, peanut butter and taste buds is revealed by tapping words underlined in red. Readers can tap words highlighted in blue to hear their definitions and examples. The narration in “Story Mode” is upbeat and fits the story, but it is haltingly slow in the “Read Along” mode with word highlighting for beginning readers. Although this story does not otherwise have a religious tone, Auntie NaNa tells her niece, “Don’t forget to say your prayers, Dabby Dill,” as the now–hiccup-free girl heads back home.

All in all, it’s lightweight fare that may elicit some giggles but not much more. (Requires iOS 6.1 and above.) (iPad storybook app. 3-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 27, 2013

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Pickled Productions

Review Posted Online: April 16, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2014

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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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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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