Blunt and easeful—like having an older sibling give you the scoop.



That perennial favorite, the mechanics of excretion, is well and alimentarily served by this app from Hayes and Vaughan.

With its youthful, rhyming voice-over—“Speaking of food, that’s where it starts— / poop, I mean (and also farts)”—it gives the topic frank fun that conveys the naturalness of the process without stripping away its comic strangeness. The actors here are a boy and his dog  (and of course the poops), who usher users stem to stern from mouthful to flush, stopping at every station along the way: esophagus, belly, intestine, toilet, cesspools and sewage lines. The body parts are situated and identified but not explored in any depth. Each page—there are 19—has one or more opportunities for engagement, sometimes opening up another page for greater explication, sometimes just allowing the dog to bark or the intestine to rumble; all is movement, as it were. One page is devoted to a gallery of poop shapes and another to the passing of gas—the accompanying sound effects are a hoot (flarp! squeep! pwip!). Tips (don’t play with poop, wash your hands) and trivia (herring communicate via flatulence, elephants poop 300 pounds a day) close out the proceedings.

Blunt and easeful—like having an older sibling give you the scoop. (iPad informational app. 4-8)

Pub Date: Dec. 21, 2012


Page Count: -

Publisher: Pinwheel Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 27, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2013

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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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A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends


From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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