RUMPELSTILTSKIN HD

An adaptation of the fairy tale features panoramic 3-D interaction.

Though the bare-bones framework of the traditional tale is left intact, this version finds a baker trying to help his daughter, Arabella, marry her true love, the prince. He tells the king that his daughter can spin gold out of straw, but, of course, the monarch wants proof. Arabella is locked in a dungeonlike room filled with straw; a mischievous elfin creature appears to produce the gold and then later returns to collect her firstborn. This retelling is dripping with the classic fairy-tale sentiments that make feminists want to burn their bras. Arabella is a ridiculously docile damsel in distress who is completely at the mercy of the men in her life (and seems fully on board with being a passive poker chip in their high-stakes card game). On the plus side, the panoramic, zoomable computer-animated pages are impressive, providing both sweeping and telephoto views of the 360-degree digital stage. Readers can do things like light and extinguish torches, whirl the spinning wheel and toss gold coins (though they may be chastised for doing so). Developers succeed in creating an authentic old-world feel, at least until Arabella asks the wee wizard if his name is SpongeBob or Patrick. The graphics, animation and interaction are fine, but they fail to turn a hollow, unimaginative narrative into gold. (iPad storybook app. 3-7)

 

Pub Date: Nov. 14, 2011

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Silicon Beach Software

Review Posted Online: Dec. 13, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • New York Times Bestseller

BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 12

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • IndieBound Bestseller

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?

more