A first-rate mind expander, this app rewards repeat visits and depicts several family constellations with irresistible...

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POP-IT

AT HOME WITH APPA AND DAD

A set of wordless domestic tableaux as rich in content as they are hilarious, presented in deliciously extravagant visuals stocked with clever interactive features.

Each of the six scenes features a happy child and one or two adults—sharing a bathroom or a computer, having a tickle session or laughing in front of a mirror—but a tap of an icon or a shake of the tablet transforms the grownups from male to female, or, for couples, from mixed to two mothers or two fathers. Taking a “surprise me!” approach throughout, the art, which is all semiabstract, features wildly exaggerated figures and exuberant jumbles of loud color, which serve as a platform for both automatic and touch-activated effects. These range from wavy lines of stench floating from the two potties and wallpaper flowers that both whirl and sound a percussive chorus when tapped to two men who triumphantly slap hands after successfully changing the child’s diaper. Utterly silly, but perfectly in keeping with all the rest, an icon on each screen delivers a real local weather report when tapped. Well, why not?

A first-rate mind expander, this app rewards repeat visits and depicts several family constellations with irresistible intimacy and good humor—all the while featuring uncommonly inventive art and software design. (iPad informational app. 4-9, adult)

Pub Date: July 7, 2011

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Raghava KK Inc.

Review Posted Online: Aug. 15, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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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

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A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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