Unfortunately, this is a case where minimal effort yields corresponding results

READ REVIEW

SWAN GEESE

RUSSIAN FOLK TALE

Nominal effects and scant interactivity do little to enhance this Russian folktale

When a little girl neglects her babysitting duties, her brother is carried away by a flock of swan geese, and she goes in search of him. She asks for help along the way from a stove, an apple tree and a brook, which each offer her something to eat or drink. When she refuses their offers, they in turn refuse to help her find her brother. She finally comes across Baba Yaga’s hut, where the witch is preparing to cook and eat her brother. A little mouse creates a diversion so the two children can escape, but Baba Yaga sends the swan geese to recapture them. On the way home, when the children meet up with the brook, apple tree and stove, the little girl accepts what they offer, and they hide the children from the swan geese. The story ends abruptly when the children arrive home safely: “And then her parents came back.” There is no title page or menu, and bare-bones navigation leaves readers stuck moving page-by-page forward or back. Though there is no narration, there are some sound-effects. The best features of the app are the lovely, old-fashioned illustrations, which have been sparingly animated.

Unfortunately, this is a case where minimal effort yields corresponding results . (iPad storybook app. 4-7)

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: D.B.S. Alliance

Review Posted Online: Feb. 15, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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?

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
more