Taylor’s classic English nursery poem is narrated in a British accent and set to gentle background music befitting its...

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TWINKLE TWINKLE LITLE STAR

THE EXPERIENCE

First a poem, then a lullaby, often a book and now an app—how we wonder what you... will be next.

Taylor’s classic English nursery poem is narrated in a British accent and set to gentle background music befitting its bedtime-book status, but the real stars of this app are Hague's richly detailed illustrations, which show beautifully on the tablet screen. Set on a blue fabric backdrop, the “book” opens up to reveal his characteristically detailed compositions, here consciously echoing picture-book masters of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Full of multiple touch-activated images that evoke childhood's dreams and fairy tales, the pictures lead readers through the evening's journey. Two children sail their little wooden boat across the night sky, where interactive features are plentiful—children swing from the moon, seahorses neigh and babies giggle, just for starters. A 3-D effect enabling the reader to tilt and turn the "book" adds to the dreamy feel. For those who prefer a lullaby, the interactive features also include versions of the song sung by native speakers in Arabic, Chinese, Indonesian, Italian, Nigerian, Russian, Spanish and Welsh but alas, despite the melody's Gallic origins, no French.

Pub Date: June 17, 2011

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Flying Word

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2011

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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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Serve this superbly designed title to all who relish slightly scary stories.

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CREEPY CARROTS!

Kids know vegetables can be scary, but rarely are edible roots out to get someone. In this whimsical mock-horror tale, carrots nearly frighten the whiskers off Jasper Rabbit, an interloper at Crackenhopper Field.

Jasper loves carrots, especially those “free for the taking.” He pulls some in the morning, yanks out a few in the afternoon, and comes again at night to rip out more. Reynolds builds delicious suspense with succinct language that allows understatements to be fully exploited in Brown’s hilarious illustrations. The cartoon pictures, executed in pencil and then digitally colored, are in various shades of gray and serve as a perfectly gloomy backdrop for the vegetables’ eerie orange on each page. “Jasper couldn’t get enough carrots … / … until they started following him.” The plot intensifies as Jasper not only begins to hear the veggies nearby, but also begins to see them everywhere. Initially, young readers will wonder if this is all a product of Jasper’s imagination. Was it a few snarling carrots or just some bathing items peeking out from behind the shower curtain? The ending truly satisfies both readers and the book’s characters alike. And a lesson on greed goes down like honey instead of a forkful of spinach.

Serve this superbly designed title to all who relish slightly scary stories. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 21, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4424-0297-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 2, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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