No bells but maybe a few whistles and definitely some giggles.

EACH TO HIS OWN!

In this droll, wordless import, a dozen dogs or other animals are connected to as many walkers by, usually, very long leashes.

Walker and animal being generally located at opposite ends of a long horizontal that is only partly viewable at any time, swiping leads to an initial visual surprise. A cowboy’s “dog,” for instance, turns out to be a huge bull, a delivery man walks a giraffe, a woman in upscale dress trails well behind a skunk. Single or multiple taps on the cartoon figures in each pairing activate more foolery in the form of low-volume sounds or visual effects. These range from jumps or color changes to “poots” of colored gas from the skunk, a tilt-responsive cascade of gifts from Santa and (a sure crowd pleaser) a discreet but decidedly risqué flurry of brightly patterned and even pictorial squares continually replacing Tarzan’s loincloth. There is no particular order or plotline, and the single-screen gallery/index opened by a corner icon allows viewers to skip around at will.

No bells but maybe a few whistles and definitely some giggles. (iPad novelty app. 5-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 20, 2013

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Kite Edizioni Srl

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2013

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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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ABIYOYO RETURNS

The seemingly ageless Seeger brings back his renowned giant for another go in a tuneful tale that, like the art, is a bit sketchy, but chockful of worthy messages. Faced with yearly floods and droughts since they’ve cut down all their trees, the townsfolk decide to build a dam—but the project is stymied by a boulder that is too huge to move. Call on Abiyoyo, suggests the granddaughter of the man with the magic wand, then just “Zoop Zoop” him away again. But the rock that Abiyoyo obligingly flings aside smashes the wand. How to avoid Abiyoyo’s destruction now? Sing the monster to sleep, then make it a peaceful, tree-planting member of the community, of course. Seeger sums it up in a postscript: “every community must learn to manage its giants.” Hays, who illustrated the original (1986), creates colorful, if unfinished-looking, scenes featuring a notably multicultural human cast and a towering Cubist fantasy of a giant. The song, based on a Xhosa lullaby, still has that hard-to-resist sing-along potential, and the themes of waging peace, collective action, and the benefits of sound ecological practices are presented in ways that children will both appreciate and enjoy. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83271-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2001

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