MR. WALRUS by Patricia Derrick


From the "Animalations" series
Age Range: 2 - 6
Available on the App Store
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A day in the lives of animal friends who are on a very tight schedule.

In 2007, author/educator Derrick launched the Animalations book series, which uses rhyming verse and songs to help preschool children prepare to read. This iPad app is an extension of those efforts (there are no plans to print more books; Derrick is moving toward an all-digital format). Mr. Walrus and his animal friends are cruising around town in a big yellow school bus, and it’s a very full day. They visit the zoo, the county fair and grandma’s house—and it’s not even noon yet! A major hook in the story/song finds passengers pleading with Mr. Walrus to keep driving so they won’t be late to anything. At one point, Walrus’ friends tell him not to drive so slowly because they’re in a hurry to get to the next destination, begging the question, is this really a positive message for kids? Illustrations are taken from the book, the verse suffers from forced scansion and the only real interactive feature is touching animals and objects to elicit audio cues. A frenzied clock makes frequent appearances (though often it doesn’t reflect the correct time), and in a delicious twist of irony the audio got two pages ahead of the story when the app was closed and reopened in “play-for-me” mode.

A harried tale that never quite catches up with itself. (iPad storybook app. 2-6)


Pub Date: June 14th, 2011
Publisher: Animalations
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2011


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