While this app may seem simple at first glance, it is actually just skillfully restrained, providing a reading experience...



Colorful, simple artwork will draw young children to Tino’s story, in which the little triangle meets 10 different animal friends.

Tino, a bright yellow triangle, is in search of new friends as he explores the world. Tap Tino, and he is surrounded by a bright blue background. Quiet sound effects provide clues to guess the next friend Tino meets, revealed with another tap and creating a peekaboo game. Barks and pants signal the appearance of Fido the dog, “a funny fellow./ The fleas just love his fur.” Tino the triangle is incorporated into each illustration, whether as the dog’s ear or a crocodile’s tooth. Each animal spread contains a few interactive elements—enough to keep up interest but never impeding the pace. The order in which the animals appear changes with each reading, heightening the pleasure of the guessing game. (Unfortunately, not all of the sound clues are obvious: Do hedgehogs really snore?) The story can be read in English, Italian or German. Interestingly, the authors did not directly translate the text, instead creating text suited to young children in each language. For example, Tino meets Fido the dog in English, cane Tobia in Italian and Hund Lumpi in German. In each language, alliteration and internal rhyming combine with smooth, gentle narration suitable for toddlers.

While this app may seem simple at first glance, it is actually just skillfully restrained, providing a reading experience nicely tailored to very young children . (iPad storybook app. 2-6)

Pub Date: May 18, 2013


Page Count: -


Review Posted Online: July 31, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2013

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Froggy's back (Froggy Learns to Swim, 1995, etc.) and on his first day of school, he wakes up late and goes to class in his underwear! No, that's only a dream—Froggy's parents wake him up just in time and they have breakfast together before leapfrogging to the bus stop. At school, Froggy gets a name tag, falls off his chair, and teaches the class—and the teacher—and the principal- -how to swim, an act that includes singing ``Bubble bubble, toot toot. Chicken, airplane, soldier.'' When his parents pick him up at the bus stop at the end of the day, they discover that he has forgotten his lunch box in school. `` `Oh, Froggy. Will you ever learn?' said his mother. `That's why I'm going to school, Mom!' '' The accessible writing has plenty of gratifying opportunities for funny sounds when read out loud, and is also endearingly wry: ``He liked his name. It was the first word he knew how to read. It was the only word he knew how to read.'' Remkiewicz's bright watercolors feature punchy, bouncy, bug-eyed animals wearing emphatically exaggerated expressions: This bunch is easy to love. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-670-86726-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1996

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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.


A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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