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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DOG MAN

From the Dog Man series , Vol. 1

What do you get from sewing the head of a smart dog onto the body of a tough police officer? A new superhero from the incorrigible creator of Captain Underpants.

Finding a stack of old Dog Man comics that got them in trouble back in first grade, George and Harold decide to craft a set of new(ish) adventures with (more or less) improved art and spelling. These begin with an origin tale (“A Hero Is Unleashed”), go on to a fiendish attempt to replace the chief of police with a “Robo Chief” and then a temporarily successful scheme to make everyone stupid by erasing all the words from every book (“Book ’Em, Dog Man”), and finish off with a sort of attempted alien invasion evocatively titled “Weenie Wars: The Franks Awaken.” In each, Dog Man squares off against baddies (including superinventor/archnemesis Petey the cat) and saves the day with a clever notion. With occasional pauses for Flip-O-Rama featurettes, the tales are all framed in brightly colored sequential panels with hand-lettered dialogue (“How do you feel, old friend?” “Ruff!”) and narrative. The figures are studiously diverse, with police officers of both genders on view and George, the chief, and several other members of the supporting cast colored in various shades of brown. Pilkey closes as customary with drawing exercises, plus a promise that the canine crusader will be further unleashed in a sequel.

What a wag. (Graphic fantasy. 7-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-545-58160-8

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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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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