This storybook app isn’t breaking any new ground, but it’s a solid effort that will undoubtedly stimulate more than a few...

READ REVIEW

ROXIE'S DOORS

A seek-and-find scavenger hunt encourages readers to explore what lies behind various doors.

This interactive adaptation of Munro’s 2004 print release, Doors, appears to be identical to its predecessor in terms of rhyme, artwork and concept. But the interactive digital interface adds to the appeal by providing a plethora of sound effects and more than 100 animated and/or interactive objects. Children can tap, swipe and tilt the tablet to reveal hidden items that are mentioned in the text. Some things yield a particular sound (a whining dog, creaking cabinet hinges, the flush of a toilet), while others simply offer a short glissando to alert readers that they’ve found one of the hidden treasures. Children can explore a wide variety of locations, including a fire station, a train compartment, a horse stable, a doctor’s office and a well-stocked refrigerator, to name only a few. There are three narrative options: voiced either by a male or female reader, or narration can be completely turned off (for those who wish to read the story themselves). Sound effects can be switched on and off separately, and a pull-down menu offers easy access to individual pages as well as narrative and sound options.

This storybook app isn’t breaking any new ground, but it’s a solid effort that will undoubtedly stimulate more than a few curious little minds. (iPad storybook app. 3-7)

Pub Date: July 24, 2011

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: OCG Studios

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2011

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A pro-girl book with illustrations that far outshine the text. (Picture book. 3-7)

I AM ENOUGH

A feel-good book about self-acceptance.

Empire star Byers and Bobo offer a beautifully illustrated, rhyming picture book detailing what one brown-skinned little girl with an impressive Afro appreciates about herself. Relying on similes, the text establishes a pattern with the opening sentence, “Like the sun, I’m here to shine,” and follows it through most of the book. Some of them work well, while others fall flat: “Like the rain, I’m here to pour / and drip and fall until I’m full.” In some vignettes she’s by herself; and in others, pictured along with children of other races. While the book’s pro-diversity message comes through, the didactic and even prideful expressions of self-acceptance make the book exasperatingly preachy—a common pitfall for books by celebrity authors. In contrast, Bobo’s illustrations are visually stunning. After painting the children and the objects with which they interact, such as flowers, books, and a red wagon, in acrylic on board for a traditional look, she scanned the images into Adobe Photoshop and added the backgrounds digitally in chalk. This lends a whimsical feel to such details as a rainbow, a window, wind, and rain—all reminiscent of Harold and the Purple Crayon. Bobo creates an inclusive world of girls in which wearing glasses, using a wheelchair, wearing a head scarf, and having a big Afro are unconditionally accepted rather than markers for othering.

A pro-girl book with illustrations that far outshine the text. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-266712-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2018

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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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