Although the alternative narrative tries a little too hard to explain the morals of the story, this is a clever update of a...

READ REVIEW

GRIMM'S FROG KING

This version of the traditional Grimm Brothers' fairy tale of a frog under a curse and the self-absorbed princess he needs to save him offers an alternative reading and lots of extras.

Read the familiar story through, then start over with the "Version with a Funny Twist," which provides a running commentary and an alternative ending. This format explores the morals of the story while questioning the archaic "princess marries the handsome prince and lives happily ever after" theme. Amid the sounds of chirping frogs, the optional British-accented narration (also available in German) transports readers to the royal gardens. Filled with humans and amphibians that vocalize when touched, the detailed and brightly colored illustrations can be enlarged for closer viewing—and readers are advised to look closely, as some of those details appear in a quiz at the end. Fairy-dust clues are easily spotted by little ones and indicate the simple touch and tilt animations. The games and jokes in the extras section are more fun than the story itself and include a fact page about frogs and toads and a prize to be won if the quiz is completed correctly.

Although the alternative narrative tries a little too hard to explain the morals of the story, this is a clever update of a classic that allows young readers to question old stereotypes. (iPad storybook app. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 31, 2012

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: JustKidsApps

Review Posted Online: June 27, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Sincere and wholehearted.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

I PROMISE

The NBA star offers a poem that encourages curiosity, integrity, compassion, courage, and self-forgiveness.

James makes his debut as a children’s author with a motivational poem touting life habits that children should strive for. In the first-person narration, he provides young readers with foundational self-esteem encouragement layered within basketball descriptions: “I promise to run full court and show up each time / to get right back up and let my magic shine.” While the verse is nothing particularly artful, it is heartfelt, and in her illustrations, Mata offers attention-grabbing illustrations of a diverse and enthusiastic group of children. Scenes vary, including classrooms hung with student artwork, an asphalt playground where kids jump double Dutch, and a gym populated with pint-sized basketball players, all clearly part of one bustling neighborhood. Her artistry brings black and brown joy to the forefront of each page. These children evince equal joy in learning and in play. One particularly touching double-page spread depicts two vignettes of a pair of black children, possibly siblings; in one, they cuddle comfortably together, and in the other, the older gives the younger a playful noogie. Adults will appreciate the closing checklist of promises, which emphasize active engagement with school. A closing note very generally introduces principles that underlie the Lebron James Family Foundation’s I Promise School (in Akron, Ohio). (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at 15% of actual size.)

Sincere and wholehearted. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 11, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-297106-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

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

Did you like this book?

more