An entertaining ruckus, still in need of a tweak or two to reach its full, parental-insanity–inducing apotheosis.

BANANA SKIN CHAOS!

The audio balance may not be quite right, but this brief and busy e-version of a nearly wordless German tree-book brings the noise.

Berated by, maybe, an older sister for heedlessly dropping a banana peel on the sidewalk, young Hubert gleefully envisions an escalating cascade of mishaps that begins with one passerby slipping. It ends—just nine screens later—in a broad cartoon streetscape jammed with crashed vehicles, escaped pigs and zoo animals, innocent bystanders splattered with food and all manner of slapstick byplay. There is no animation, but successive manually advanced scenes fade in or out cinematically and can be spread for scrolling close-up views of the action. Each scene features several touch-activated oinks, beeps, squeals and electronic sounds that are hard to hear over the overloud, percussive musical track. This is turned off in the final scene, where the sounds continue running once tapped so that viewers can create a mighty satisfying cacophony of their own.

An entertaining ruckus, still in need of a tweak or two to reach its full, parental-insanity–inducing apotheosis. (iPad storybook app. 4-6)

Pub Date: June 7, 2011

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: zuuka! GmbH

Review Posted Online: July 18, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2011

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The snappy text will get toes tapping, but the information it carries is limited.

LET'S DANCE!

Dancing is one of the most universal elements of cultures the world over.

In onomatopoeic, rhyming text, Bolling encourages readers to dance in styles including folk dance, classical ballet, breakdancing, and line dancing. Read aloud, the zippy text will engage young children: “Tappity Tap / Fingers Snap,” reads the rhyme on the double-page spread for flamenco; “Jiggity-Jig / Zig-zag-zig” describes Irish step dancing. The ballet pages stereotypically include only children in dresses or tutus, but one of these dancers wears hijab. Overall, children included are racially diverse and vary in gender presentation. Diaz’s illustrations show her background in animated films; her active child dancers generally have the large-eyed sameness of cartoon characters. The endpapers, with shoes and musical instruments, could become a matching game with pages in the book. The dances depicted are described at the end, including kathak from India and kuku from Guinea, West Africa. Unfortunately, these explanations are quite rudimentary. Kathak dancers use their facial expressions extensively in addition to the “movements of their hands and their jingling feet,” as described in the book. Although today kuku is danced at all types of celebrations in several countries, it was once done after fishing, an activity acknowledged in the illustrations but not mentioned in the explanatory text.

The snappy text will get toes tapping, but the information it carries is limited. (Informational picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-63592-142-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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PIRATES DON'T TAKE BATHS

Echoes of Runaway Bunny color this exchange between a bath-averse piglet and his patient mother. Using a strategy that would probably be a nonstarter in real life, the mother deflects her stubborn offspring’s string of bath-free occupational conceits with appeals to reason: “Pirates NEVER EVER take baths!” “Pirates don’t get seasick either. But you do.” “Yeesh. I’m an astronaut, okay?” “Well, it is hard to bathe in zero gravity. It’s hard to poop and pee in zero gravity too!” And so on, until Mom’s enticing promise of treasure in the deep sea persuades her little Treasure Hunter to take a dive. Chunky figures surrounded by lots of bright white space in Segal’s minimally detailed watercolors keep the visuals as simple as the plotline. The language isn’t quite as basic, though, and as it rendered entirely in dialogue—Mother Pig’s lines are italicized—adult readers will have to work hard at their vocal characterizations for it to make any sense. Moreover, younger audiences (any audiences, come to that) may wonder what the piggy’s watery closing “EUREKA!!!” is all about too. Not particularly persuasive, but this might coax a few young porkers to get their trotters into the tub. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25425-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2011

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