Still a bobble or two in the design, but an engaging imagination stretcher.

READ REVIEW

HEDGEHOG BOOK

Three independent, partly cumulative illustrated minitales—none of which features a hedgehog.

All three do offer a chance to assemble a simply drawn cartoon figure from fanciful elements, following directions that appear in succession and are (optionally, and in English or Portuguese) read with great expression. Viewers spoon strawberry jam into an old coffee pot, light candles beneath, add corn kernels and—voilà! “Volcano Coffee Pot.” Likewise, a banana that is peeled, then topped with an apricot rimmed by almonds becomes a “Banana Flower.” “Daisy Girl” is the best and most complex—it requires not only dragging items from one spot to another, but shaking and blowing on the tablet to create and then feed a charming lass with flowers for eyes, feather-duster hair and a crescent-moon smile. Viewers unsure about what to do next can tap a corner button for a pop-up visual prompt. Each episode can be started over at any point, but there is no manual paging in either direction. Furthermore, though performing the indicated action makes one scene change to the next, performing it too soon will cut the text and narration short.

Still a bobble or two in the design, but an engaging imagination stretcher. (iPad play app. 4-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 5, 2012

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Ardozia

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2013

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Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.

THE DINKY DONKEY

Even more alliterative hanky-panky from the creators of The Wonky Donkey (2010).

Operating on the principle (valid, here) that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, Smith and Cowley give their wildly popular Wonky Donkey a daughter—who, being “cute and small,” was a “dinky donkey”; having “beautiful long eyelashes” she was in consequence a “blinky dinky donkey”; and so on…and on…and on until the cumulative chorus sails past silly and ludicrous to irresistibly hysterical: “She was a stinky funky plinky-plonky winky-tinky,” etc. The repeating “Hee Haw!” chorus hardly suggests what any audience’s escalating response will be. In the illustrations the daughter sports her parent’s big, shiny eyes and winsome grin while posing in a multicolored mohawk next to a rustic boombox (“She was a punky blinky”), painting her hooves pink, crossing her rear legs to signal a need to pee (“winky-tinky inky-pinky”), demonstrating her smelliness with the help of a histrionic hummingbird, and finally cozying up to her proud, evidently single parent (there’s no sign of another) for a closing cuddle.

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-60083-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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JOHNNY APPLESEED

Though she never says outright that he was a real person, Kurtz introduces newly emergent readers to the historical John Chapman, walking along the Ohio, planting apple seeds, and bartering seedlings to settlers for food and clothing. Haverfield supplies the legendary portions of his tale, with views of a smiling, stylishly ragged, clean-shaven young man, pot on head, wildlife on shoulder or trailing along behind. Kurtz caps her short, rhythmic text with an invitation to “Clap your hands for Johnny Chapman. / Clap your hands for Johnny Appleseed!” An appealing way to open discussions of our country’s historical or legendary past. (Easy reader/nonfiction. 5-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-689-85958-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2004

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