Readers will want to stay away from these gnomes—or whatever they are: They're full of tricks and broken promises.

THE NUTONS' KITCHEN OR HOW TO NURTURE A GNOME

A perplexing take on a Belgian legend takes too long to introduce itself then ends abruptly, as if by a magical trick of the forest.

Nutons, the app explains, are the cousins of gnomes (though the title would beg to differ), and though each is very old, "...he's about the size of a 3 year old kid, from the top of his hat to the top of his toes." Through a series of pages featuring geometric, Bauhaus-like artwork—all triangles, circles and askew squares—the nutons are shown to be night-dwelling creatures who like to live in the comfort of the woods. But the text and narration wander badly, likely the result of a bad translation, creating a confusing narrative with endless sentences that go nowhere. One example: "Mere babysteps away, alongside the rapids of the Lesse river, sits a great stone covered with small circular recesses: les Scûles, the bowls, which, according to tradition, are the nutons' dinner plates." The page meant to give parents discussion points to use with their kids isn't much better. The story shifts from a five-page introduction to a five-page story of a village woman who loses a bunch of oats given to her by a nuton that she thought might turn into gold. The village woman learns not to trust nutons, and readers learn not to trust badly translated offerings in the App Store.

Readers will want to stay away from these gnomes—or whatever they are: They're full of tricks and broken promises. (iPad storybook app. 3-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 21, 2012

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Cot Cot Cot Apps

Review Posted Online: Jan. 7, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

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

Did you like this book?

A perfect story to enjoy on a “no bones day.”

NOODLE AND THE NO BONES DAY

Graziano tells the story of his TikTok-famous pug, Noodle.

Noodle is a silly, stubborn old pug who likes walks and snacks. “He’s a pug who knows what he wants.” Jonathan, his light-skinned owner, loves taking Noodle for walks and sharing snacks—they are a perfect pair. But one day, when it’s time for a walk, Noodle just lies in his dog bed. Even when Jonathan tries to make Noodle sit up, Noodle flops back down. “It’s like he doesn’t have bones!” says Jonathan. Noodle doesn’t seem sick—he just wants snacks and to stay in bed. Finally, Jonathan asks if Noodle would just like to snuggle instead and receives a strong affirmative from the drowsy pug. Together Noodle and his human enjoy a relaxing “no bones day” and learn an important lesson about rest and why it matters for silly, stubborn old pugs and for the humans who love them, too. Many may already be familiar with Noodle through his TikTok videos (if Noodle remains standing when Graziano lifts him, it’s a “bones day”; among Noodle’s followers, a “no bones day” has come to mean a day for self-care and taking it easy). However, this story stands alone and will likely create new fans for a long time to come. Hand-drawn and painted digitally, Tavis’ illustrations rely on a muted palette and rounded images, depicting an appropriately cozy world. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A perfect story to enjoy on a “no bones day.” (author's note) (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 7, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66592-710-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more