The wolf isn’t the only one who should be embarrassed by this misguided, pedantic, poorly designed rendition.


A thoroughly sanitized retelling (sandwiched between pop-up advertisements for another app) linked to stylized illustrations that are probably intended to be sweet but are actually strange and eerie.

This retelling finds Little Red fleeing from her granny’s cottage, pursued by the wolf—who, after being clubbed by the woodsman and having his jaws “prised open” so that Granny can dance out, slinks off “embarrassed and ashamed.” In sharp contrast to this gooey version of the familiar plot, the art veers off into disturbing territory. Sporting enormous, glassy eyes in an oversized rectangular face, Little Red Riding Hood skips through a retro pastel forest as the menacing wolf oozes like a shaggy snake up a twisty path to the cottage. He devours Granny in a sudden whirl and then springs open-mawed after his second intended victim. Aside from a few tap-activated sound effects and floaty animations keyed by flashing outlines, the only interactive feature is a tantalizingly large “X” in the corner of each screen. Touching this abruptly restarts the story, bringing up an introductory page on which, along with auto-advance and manual-viewing options, a “Learn” mode introduces occasional quizzes interjected by the British-accented narrator: “There is a clue to show that the wolf is in Granny’s cottage. Can you find it? That’s right, it’s his tail.”

The wolf isn’t the only one who should be embarrassed by this misguided, pedantic, poorly designed rendition. (iPad storybook app. 4-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 21, 2012


Page Count: -

Publisher: Mindshapes

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 32

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • IndieBound Bestseller


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?

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • New York Times Bestseller


A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet