For bilingual readers, those studying either language or anyone who likes stories about scaredy-cat dogs, this no-frills app...

READ REVIEW

SOUNDS IN THE HOUSE

A terrified dog catalogs the strange noises in its home in a bilingual English/Spanish app. 

Narrated by a big-eyed hound who resembles Garfield’s long-suffering Odie, this slight mystery begins with a lengthy pronunciation primer on the Spanish language. Though the app doesn’t explicitly force readers to switch between English and Spanish text and narration, its first page begins in Spanish, and a large button that enables toggling between the two tongues is featured on every page. Those who take the hint will find a cute series of pages made of mostly simple sentences (“The clock ticks. A moth taps my window.” / “El reloj hace tic tac. Una polilla golpea contra la ventana”) in either language. The unnamed dog quivers in fear, comically freaking out at the sounds of a mischievous cat, moaning water pipes and a creaking tree outside. The dog gets the last laugh, however, when it scares its human owner; a loud “Boo!” it turns out, is just as scary in Spanish or in English. Cartoon illustrations throughout are simple, with unobtrusive animations activated by taps. The narration and text are handled well, and the story is suspenseful without ever getting too intense for younger readers.

For bilingual readers, those studying either language or anyone who likes stories about scaredy-cat dogs, this no-frills app may sound about right. (iPad storybook app. 3-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2013

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Customizabooks

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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?

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more