Educational and entertaining—and tailor-made to spark stimulating interchanges between younger children and unwary grown-ups.

READ REVIEW

THE BOOK OF HOLES

An airy introduction to holes of, mostly, the anatomical sort with touch-activated effects that run the scale from whimsical to hilariously edgy.

Preserving the format of the original Danish print edition (with a black dot in place of the die-cut hole), this digital version alternates white screens of text printed in curved lines—read expressively in a childlike voice—with thematically related Monty Python–style collages. Practically every element in each collage will drift, drop, spin, chime, blink, mutter or otherwise respond to taps. Along with defining useful new words like “anus” and “nostril” (“The boogers come from your nostrils”), the presentation not only covers bodily orifices, but also black holes and the Big Bang, dental cavities, and holes in nature or around the house. Particular highlights include a mouth that pronounces the word for “mouth” in nine languages and a not-exactly-graphic look at reproduction: “It is certain that you entered this world through a hole. But that’s a long story. Ask your dad….” Several of the collages feature items that can be played like musical instruments or, as on a face with scrambled features, require rearranging. An icon on every page leads to a thumbnail index and a key to all the interactive extras.

Educational and entertaining—and tailor-made to spark stimulating interchanges between younger children and unwary grown-ups. (iPad informational app. 2-5)

Pub Date: July 25, 2013

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Chocolate Factory Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2013

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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original...

A KISSING HAND FOR CHESTER RACCOON

From the Kissing Hand series

A sweetened, condensed version of the best-selling picture book, The Kissing Hand.

As in the original, Chester Raccoon is nervous about attending Owl’s night school (raccoons are nocturnal). His mom kisses him on the paw and reminds him, “With a Kissing Hand… / We’ll never be apart.” The text boils the story down to its key elements, causing this version to feel rushed. Gone is the list of fun things Chester will get to do at school. Fans of the original may be disappointed that this board edition uses a different illustrator. Gibson’s work is equally sentimental, but her renderings are stiff and flat in comparison to the watercolors of Harper and Leak. Very young readers will probably not understand that Owl’s tree, filled with opossums, a squirrel, a chipmunk and others, is supposed to be a school.

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original shouldn’t look to this version as replacement for their page-worn copies. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-933718-77-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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