With some quick fixes, this one could become closer to Real and worthy of a young reader's love. (iPad storybook app. 5-8)

THE VELVETEEN RABBIT

This serviceable iPad version of the classic stumbles, primarily over some fixable mistakes.

XiMAD Inc.'s version of the story, one of two takes on it currently available for the iPad, attempts to be as visually lush and inviting as Williams' tear-jerking text. By that measure, it mostly succeeds. For 31 pages (including the title screen) it's a lovely app, soft but precise, with the kinds of spring-loaded on-screen objects, tilt features and smartly integrated text that Alice for the iPad (2010) set the bar for shortly after the device debuted. But the elegance is lost whenever jarring, ugly pop-up ads appear in the free version of the app, covering the controls and interrupting the story. The ads aren't for other children's books or even toys (velveteen or otherwise); they're primarily for PC utilities unlikely to appeal to this tale's audience. Less forgiveable is a glaring problem late in the story: One paragraph of text is repeated from a prior page, and another paragraph is completely missing, pulling the stuffing out of an important story point. Other than those two major problems and, of lesser importance, a lack of options beyond turning the background music off, this adaptation works. At least it works much better than the Ruckus Mobile Media version in the App Store, a dated, unsatisfying rendition that this one easily bests.

With some quick fixes, this one could become closer to Real and worthy of a young reader's love. (iPad storybook app. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 18, 2011

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: XIMAD

Review Posted Online: May 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 11

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • IndieBound Bestseller

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 jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre.

SNOW PLACE LIKE HOME

From the Diary of an Ice Princess series

Ice princess Lina must navigate family and school in this early chapter read.

The family picnic is today. This is not a typical gathering, since Lina’s maternal relatives are a royal family of Windtamers who have power over the weather and live in castles floating on clouds. Lina herself is mixed race, with black hair and a tan complexion like her Asian-presenting mother’s; her Groundling father appears to be a white human. While making a grand entrance at the castle of her grandfather, the North Wind, she fails to successfully ride a gust of wind and crashes in front of her entire family. This prompts her stern grandfather to ask that Lina move in with him so he can teach her to control her powers. Desperate to avoid this, Lina and her friend Claudia, who is black, get Lina accepted at the Hilltop Science and Arts Academy. Lina’s parents allow her to go as long as she does lessons with grandpa on Saturdays. However, fitting in at a Groundling school is rough, especially when your powers start freak winter storms! With the story unfurling in diary format, bright-pink–highlighted grayscale illustrations help move the plot along. There are slight gaps in the storytelling and the pacing is occasionally uneven, but Lina is full of spunk and promotes self-acceptance.

A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre. (Fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 25, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-35393-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more