Not much for storyline, but engagingly silly and tricky. Not to mention: bombs! (iPad game app. 5-8)

READ REVIEW

THIS BOOK IS ABOUT TO EXPLODE

In this challenging set of visual puzzles, a dozen user-activated “bombs” blow a hapless robot from Hydropolope to Planet Kakalooki, leaving behind scrambled scenes to reassemble.

Conducted by a helium-voiced narrator, Tiki-Zin3 is propelled into space, past Saturn and the “ancient spacecraft Voyager I,” through a wormhole and on to an eventual planetfall. At each of his 12 stops, a bomb floats into view, explodes with a different combination of taps and leaves a jumbled pile of rocket parts or other space junk to drag back into their original positions. Other than going back to the opening screen to touch an index icon, there is no way to advance except by completing each reassembly in turn. Help in this task is provided through buttons that toggle back to the previous screens, as well as correctly positioned outlines that appear after several failed attempts to place pieces. In spite of this, most of the puzzles—particularly the blobby Kakalookian landscape and Tiki-Zin3’s garden, which has to be reconstructed in near-total darkness—are real tests of visual memory.

Not much for storyline, but engagingly silly and tricky. Not to mention: bombs! (iPad game app. 5-8)

Pub Date: May 19, 2012

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: RAMDreams

Review Posted Online: June 20, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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?

Only for dedicated fans of the series.

HOW TO CATCH A MONSTER

From the How to Catch… series

When a kid gets the part of the ninja master in the school play, it finally seems to be the right time to tackle the closet monster.

“I spot my monster right away. / He’s practicing his ROAR. / He almost scares me half to death, / but I won’t be scared anymore!” The monster is a large, fluffy poison-green beast with blue hands and feet and face and a fluffy blue-and-green–striped tail. The kid employs a “bag of tricks” to try to catch the monster: in it are a giant wind-up shark, two cans of silly string, and an elaborate cage-and-robot trap. This last works, but with an unexpected result: the monster looks sad. Turns out he was only scaring the boy to wake him up so they could be friends. The monster greets the boy in the usual monster way: he “rips a massive FART!!” that smells like strawberries and lime, and then they go to the monster’s house to meet his parents and play. The final two spreads show the duo getting ready for bed, which is a rather anticlimactic end to what has otherwise been a rambunctious tale. Elkerton’s bright illustrations have a TV-cartoon aesthetic, and his playful beast is never scary. The narrator is depicted with black eyes and hair and pale skin. Wallace’s limping verses are uninspired at best, and the scansion and meter are frequently off.

Only for dedicated fans of the series. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4926-4894-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more