Appropriately for the audience, there’s no story line or dazzling special effects—just a creatively imagined encounter with...

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HEAD, SHOULDERS, KNEES, AND TOES

From the Bunny Fun series

This toddler app revolves around the children’s song of the same name, the first in a planned suite by the illustrator of the now-classic My Very First Mother Goose.

Once the app is launched, one of Wells' trademark sturdy bunnies appears wearing Western clothes, while an orchestral version of “Chicken Reel” loops in the background. Tap the animal, and the violins give way to a small group of children singing the nursery song, while the bunny points to his corresponding body parts. (Fair warning: You may never be able to get the tune out of your head.) Readers are given two other options: Tap the body parts for individual display and enunciation of the words, or record your own version for playback. A menu at the top of the screen shows four different snapshots, each of the same bunny dressed in other attire (which represents the other languages the song is available in—French, Spanish and Japanese). Select a different snapshot and the bunny turns and skips merrily to another screen where he finds a new location, a new set of threads and language/music that reflects that particular ethnicity. Auryn, Inc., hit grand slams with previous releases Teddy’s Day (2010) and The Little Mermaid (2011). This is a perfectly adorable app that makes good use of iPad technology, but it is a much more basic offering than its predecessors.

Appropriately for the audience, there’s no story line or dazzling special effects—just a creatively imagined encounter with a song that has universal toddler appeal. More, please! (iPad storybook app. 1-3)

Pub Date: April 8, 2011

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Auryn

Review Posted Online: April 18, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2011

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Superlative silliness.

MY DAD IS AMAZING

Extol the virtues of parents in this and its companion volume, My Mom is Magical.

Each of these winning board books is dedicated to the respective, titular parent of the author-and-illustrator team, sisters Sabrina and Eunice Moyle, who together are the design studio Hello!Lucky. The over-the-top enthusiasm of these volumes may, therefore, be reasonably excused, as the creative team’s love for their subjects seems as sincere as it is hyperbolic. A series of wild metaphors and analogies celebrate Dad or Mom; the near-blinding bright colors and kinetic, even chaotic illustrations perfectly complement the exuberant text. “My Dad is cooler than a million Popsicles!” “My Mom is cuddlier than a mountain yak!” A friendly, hipsterized yeti that looks like an extra from Where the Wild Things Are plays Dad, while Mom is rendered as a sparkly unicorn with rainbow mane and tail—who strikes heroic poses. Descriptive phrasing ranges from sweet to laugh-out-loud silly: Dad, for example, is “funnier than a bunch of underpants!” Funny indeed! Each volume ends by switching voices to break the fourth wall: “Kid, you’re amazing” (or “magical”) “too!” Both books are visual treats, sure to engage with their brilliant hues and inventive (if occasionally stereotypical) images. Dad is imagined at one point as a masked, lucha libre wrestler, for example, and Mom teaches a classroom of owlets mathematical formulae in glasses and an “I [heart] Math” T-shirt. Families may want both books, or either, as applicable.

Superlative silliness. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: April 3, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2961-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: abramsappleseed

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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A happily multisensory exploration.

NOISY FARM

From the My First Touch and Feel Sound Book series

Farm animals make realistic noises as youngsters press embedded tactile features.

“Pat the cow’s back to hear her ‘Moo!’ ” Readers can press the fuzzy, black circle on a Holstein cow to hear its recorded noise. This formula is repeated on each double-page spread, one per farm critter (roosters, piglets, lambs and horses). Using stock photography, several smaller images of the animals appear on the left, and a full-page close-up dominates the right. The final two pages are a review of the five farmyard creatures and include a photo of each as well as a review of their sounds in succession via a touch of a button. While the layout is a little busy, the selection of photos and the tactile elements are nicely diverse. The text is simple enough for little ones, encourages interaction (“Can you baa like a lamb?”) and uses animal-specific vocabulary (fleece; mane). The sister title, Noisy Trucks (978-1-58925-609-5), follows much the same format, but, here, the stars are big rigs, monster trucks, fire trucks, backhoes and cement mixers. While the photos will thrill the vehicle-obsessed, the noises are less distinctive, save the fire truck’s siren. The facts about each type of vehicle provide just enough information: “A fire truck has a loud siren, ladders to climb, and hoses that spray water.” Despite the age recommendation of 3 years and up suggested on the back cover, the construction (with the battery secured by screw behind a plastic panel) looks sturdy and safe enough for younger readers.

A happily multisensory exploration. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-58925-610-1

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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