In the end, Hannah gives in to her grandfather’s elaborate, made-up story and accepts the licorice. Perhaps she was just...

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LAND OF MISLAID

A missing peppermint sends a young girl and her grandfather on a journey to where missing things go in a strikingly illustrated but too-thin story.

When Hannah asks her grandfather if he’s seen her missing candy in the family living room, he offers her a piece of licorice, as he has eaten the peppermint himself. Rather than confessing, Grandpa spins a tale of the Land of Mislaid, where lost objects go. Using items from the living room, such as teapots, a clock, and a salt-and-pepper set, Grandpa leads Hannah through outsized fantasies on the way to finding the missing candy. While the settings are fanciful, such as the “Twilight Peninsula, where lamps sparkled in the night,” character development seems to have been mislaid. Hannah and her grandfather have no personalities to speak of beyond the obvious (she is young and curious; he is willing to go to great lengths to entertain his granddaughter). Only the exaggerated visuals—giant heads and bodies with tiny limbs—give them life. The illustrations, convincing, animated miniworlds of gigantic fish and table-salty seas, are the primary reason to read the story, which presents so much text on most pages that whole paragraphs scroll right off the bottom of the screen.

In the end, Hannah gives in to her grandfather’s elaborate, made-up story and accepts the licorice. Perhaps she was just tired of hearing his drawn-out story. (Requires iOS 7 and above.) (iPad storybook app. 3-8)

Pub Date: Dec. 20, 2013

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: YipYip

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2014

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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

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THE SNAIL AND THE WHALE

Like an ocean-going “Lion and the Mouse,” a humpback whale and a snail “with an itchy foot” help each other out in this cheery travelogue. Responding to a plaintive “Ride wanted around the world,” scrawled in slime on a coastal rock, whale picks up snail, then sails off to visit waters tropical and polar, stormy and serene before inadvertently beaching himself. Off hustles the snail, to spur a nearby community to action with another slimy message: “SAVE THE WHALE.” Donaldson’s rhyme, though not cumulative, sounds like “The house that Jack built”—“This is the tide coming into the bay, / And these are the villagers shouting, ‘HOORAY!’ / As the whale and the snail travel safely away. . . .” Looking in turn hopeful, delighted, anxious, awed, and determined, Scheffler’s snail, though tiny next to her gargantuan companion, steals the show in each picturesque seascape—and upon returning home, provides so enticing an account of her adventures that her fellow mollusks all climb on board the whale’s tail for a repeat voyage. Young readers will clamor to ride along. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-8037-2922-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2004

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