With narrative constrained by the meter and an interface that’s mostly passive, this app is one to skip.

READ REVIEW

WENDA THE WACKY WIGGLER

A rhyme-driven tale about a gamboling girl who singlehandedly initiates a citywide renaissance.

There’s never any explanation why Wenda wears an aviator’s helmet and scarf, but nonetheless, she’s a cute little spindly lass who can’t sit still. When she glides into town (with a movement that seems a bit like roller skating), she appears to be looking for a fight, as her fists are cocked and shifting. But she’s really just grooving, and that drives the mayor and the townspeople crazy. In an effort to stop her motion, the mayor silences everything—even capturing a singing bird—but Wenda hears her own song within. Eventually, her dance prevails, and it inspires everyone to create great art. The screen transitions are quite sluggish, and animation is minimal yet fluid. The text is lethargic too, appearing after the narrator begins reading; a row of dots indicates how many text blocks must be swiped before moving to the next screen. The visuals are bright and appealing, but there’s very little interaction other than a wiggle here, a wagging finger there. The intended message is admirable, if packaged in a weak, spoon-fed narrative: Be who you are, and it will inspire others.

With narrative constrained by the meter and an interface that’s mostly passive, this app is one to skip. (Requires iOS 7 and above.) (iPad storybook app. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 25, 2014

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Aslan Studios

Review Posted Online: Sept. 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.

THE DINKY DONKEY

Even more alliterative hanky-panky from the creators of The Wonky Donkey (2010).

Operating on the principle (valid, here) that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, Smith and Cowley give their wildly popular Wonky Donkey a daughter—who, being “cute and small,” was a “dinky donkey”; having “beautiful long eyelashes” she was in consequence a “blinky dinky donkey”; and so on…and on…and on until the cumulative chorus sails past silly and ludicrous to irresistibly hysterical: “She was a stinky funky plinky-plonky winky-tinky,” etc. The repeating “Hee Haw!” chorus hardly suggests what any audience’s escalating response will be. In the illustrations the daughter sports her parent’s big, shiny eyes and winsome grin while posing in a multicolored mohawk next to a rustic boombox (“She was a punky blinky”), painting her hooves pink, crossing her rear legs to signal a need to pee (“winky-tinky inky-pinky”), demonstrating her smelliness with the help of a histrionic hummingbird, and finally cozying up to her proud, evidently single parent (there’s no sign of another) for a closing cuddle.

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-60083-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture...

WHEN I PRAY FOR YOU

Turner adds another title to his picture-book series that highlights the miracles in the mundane (When God Made Light, 2018, etc.).

In the vein of children’s-bookshelf stalwart Oh, the Places You’ll Go, Turner’s rhyming text includes both prayers and life advice for a growing child, beginning with infancy and moving on to adolescence. At times the rhyme and meter are strained, muddling meaning and making the tempo feel occasionally awkward when read aloud. Overall, though, the book executes its mission, presenting Christian theological truths within the rhythmic inspirational text. For this third series installment Turner’s text is paired with a new illustrator, whose bright illustrations of wide-eyed children have great shelf appeal. While David Catrow’s previous illustrations in the series featured effervescent black protagonists, the child in Barnes’ illustrations appears white, though she occupies an otherwise diverse world. While illustrated as a prayer from a mother for her daughter, the text itself is gender neutral.

Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture books. (Picture book/religion. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-52565058-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more