A child-friendly tale, enhanced by pretty graphics and a large but unobtrusive set of side activities.

THE SELLER OF DREAMS

A boy on an errand buys a dream from an itinerant magician and gets his money's worth in this surreal, old short story.

Shortened and lightly adapted from a 1919 original, the episode takes young Peter without transition from a quick snack under a tree to a meeting with an aunt who is suddenly a queen with a magic castle in which, strangely, all the sumptuous furnishings are glued down. The reason for that becomes evident when, after a delicious meal and a fancy ball, the castle abruptly turns over—pitching the lad back to wakefulness. Aside from being both pinchable and spreadable (to full screen), each generically Disney-esque cartoon scene features just a few small, touch-activated changes of expression or other animations. These interactive elements being rather scanty, and despite a thoroughly mannered narration (a self-record option is available), the story itself is just as well experienced passively on autoplay. There is no strip index for quick skipping back and forth, but a strip of icons at the top of each screen opens multiple jigsaw puzzles, matching games, connect-the-dots pictures and coloring pages that have an unusually sophisticated paint box.

A child-friendly tale, enhanced by pretty graphics and a large but unobtrusive set of side activities. (iPad storybook/activity app. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 5, 2012

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Publisto

Review Posted Online: Aug. 20, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 19

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • IndieBound Bestseller

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

Did you like this book?

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • New York Times Bestseller

BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more