Technologically and artistically juvenile, but still a taste of good cheeky fun.

THE WORST BOOK EVER!

Two unfortunate children are treated to a day of “fun.”

This title offers ample opportunity to teach children the meaning of irony, or, as the author says, to appreciate “inappropriate humor.” The story begins with the female narrator (presumably their mother) asking brother and sister if they’re ready to have fun. She then proceeds to offer up potential activities. “Let’s go to Cousin Sally’s recital!” she says enthusiastically. Touch the twinkling starburst over Sally’s hands, and she begins to bang recklessly on the keyboard. Among other things, Mom suggests going to the doctor (“Maybe it'll be shot day!”) and using stinky portable toilets (complete with tinkling and tooting sounds). Each page offers an interactive element that’s signaled by a starburst; among the oddest are tiny octopi that shower a healthy lunch. There are a few activities that parents may not want to associate with the concept of “worst.” For example, the very nature of the book puts visiting great-grandma, brushing and flossing teeth, putting on sunscreen and doing household chores on the same plane as pulling splinters out of your foot, getting a shot, going bra shopping with Mommy and listening to a baby scream his head off. 

Technologically and artistically juvenile, but still a taste of good cheeky fun. (iPad storybook app. 4-8)

Pub Date: Dec. 13, 2011

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: TwizzleTales

Review Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 19

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 sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • New York Times Bestseller

BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more