This enjoyable rhyming-pattern book reinforces simple counting concepts—if only the titular characters looked like gorillas.

TEN GIGGLY GORILLAS

Clever and packed with interactivity, this app entertains but also confuses, as the star characters look an awful lot more like silly monkeys than giggly gorillas.

Beginning with 10 playful gorillas hanging high in the treetops of a generic jungle, readers are challenged to “tickle” the specific gorilla mentioned in that screen’s text. The featured gorilla is easily identified through clues in the text and by the various and funky objects they hold or wear, such as flippers, a bow tie or a drum. Once the correct gorilla is tapped/tickled, it plummets or, in some cases, swan dives to the jungle floor, leaving the group of gorillas down one. This pattern repeats until there are no gorillas left dangling. The rhyming and repetitive text mostly works, but stretches thin in a few places, although the cheerful female Australian narrator makes most rhymes work with a natural ease. Readers can also choose to narrate on their own with or without sound effects, although these noises, which are invoked by tapping any of the gorillas, add a humorous chaos to the text. Hidden within each page is a colorful toucan, which greets readers when tapped. Extra features include a gorilla memory game.

This enjoyable rhyming-pattern book reinforces simple counting concepts—if only the titular characters looked like gorillas.   (iPad storybook app. 2-5)

Pub Date: Jan. 19, 2012

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Wasabi Productions

Review Posted Online: March 5, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2012

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This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer.

PEPPA'S GIANT PUMPKIN

From the Peppa Pig series

Peppa hopes to join her classmates in a Halloween pumpkin competition in this adaptation of a story from the popular British television program Peppa Pig.

With the help of Granny and Grandpa Pig, Peppa turns her giant pumpkin, which is the size of a compact car, into a jack-o’-lantern. The trio is flummoxed when it comes time to transport the pumpkin to the competition, so they call on Miss Rabbit and her helicopter to airlift the pumpkin to the festivities as Peppa and her grandparents ride inside. Peppa arrives just in time for the contest and wins the prize for best flying pumpkin. The scenes look as if they are pulled directly from the television show, right down to the rectangular framing of some of the scenes. While the story is literally nothing new, the text is serviceable, describing the action in two to three sentences per page. The pumpkin-shaped book and orange foil cover will likely attract youngsters, whether they are Peppa fans or not.

This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-33922-2

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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Exciting artwork paired with disappointingly dull text.

KINDNESS GROWS

Rhyming verses about kindness using a consistent metaphor of widening cracks versus blooming plants are amplified by cutouts on each page.

The art and layout are spectacular, from the cover through the double-page spreads near the end. Racially diverse toddlers are shown engaging in various moods and behaviors, some of which create unhappiness and some of which lead to friendship and happiness. Every page’s color palette and composition perfectly complement the narrative. The initial verso shows two children in aggressive stances, backgrounded by a dark, partly moonlit sky. Between them is a slender, crooked cutout. The large-type text reads: “It all / starts / with a / crack / that we can hardly see. / It happens when we shout / or if we disagree.” The recto shows two children in sunlight, with one offering a pretty leaf to the other, and the rhyme addresses the good that grows from kindness. In this image, the crooked die cut forms the trunk of a tiny sapling. Until the final double-page spreads, the art follows this clever setup: dark deeds and a crack on the left, and good deeds and a growing tree on the right. Unfortunately, the text is far from the equal of the art: It is banal and preachy, and it does not even scan well without some effort on the part of whomever is reading it. Still, the youngest children will solemnly agree with the do’s and don’ts, and they may decide to memorize a page or two.

Exciting artwork paired with disappointingly dull text. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68010-229-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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