A tasty confection, likely to tempt more than just its young target audience.

READ REVIEW

CHOKKO'S ADVENTURES IN BIRDLAND

THE OWL VALLEY

Set up by a separate but free prelude app, the first episode of a projected four sends two intrepid chocolate drops (one white, one brown) to Bird Island on a feather-finding expedition.

Barely have the explorers landed in their banana spaceship than Latti (the white one) is snatched by a trio of chocolate-loving meerkats. Pursuing, Chokko follows the kidnappers into Owl Valley, which has been plunged into darkness by the departure of all the fireflies. By the end, Latti remains in captivity, but light is restored after Chokko teaches the feathered residents of the valley how to make candle lanterns. The stylized cartoon illustrations resemble polychrome Chinese papercuts in general form and detail. They are heavily endowed both with animated figures and also with touch- or touch-and-hold effects that range from a fingertip flashlight and moveable items to scrolling backgrounds and snatches of sound. The text and (optional) audio narration is available in nine languages (three that do not use the Roman alphabet), and both can be flicked on or off at will on any screen. Each screen also contains slightly hidden feathers that sharp-eyed viewers can “collect” with a tap. Links at the ends of both apps will go live as new chapters become available (for purchase).

A tasty confection, likely to tempt more than just its young target audience. (iPad storybook app. 5-8 and up)

Pub Date: Dec. 22, 2011

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Siliq Digital

Review Posted Online: Feb. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2012

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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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The goose is all that’s serious here…and that not for long.

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THE SERIOUS GOOSE

Bet you can’t make this goose smile, no matter how hard you try.

TV personality Kimmel’s first foray into picture books presents a feathered grump with a scowl that is proof against any kind of foolery: Try putting a chicken on her head, dressing her as a moose, or even trucking in a snail pizza—this goose won’t crack. Breaking now and again into verse, he challenges readers to give it a try in a foil mirror: “Cluck like a chicken / moo like a cow / be doofy, be goofy / any way you know how”—and sure enough, eventually a grin bursts out to replace the grimace despite a multipage struggle to hold it in, and off prances the goose in a pair of (gender-bending) tighty whities. Yes, she’s become “a SILLY goose (thanks to you),” the narrator proclaims, and what’s more, “YOU are a silly kid.” A hand-lettered narrative in block printing big enough to take up most of the space accompanies thick-lined cartoon views of a goosey glare that dares readers to crank up the volume, and the last page turn reveals a final tweak that may add a few grown-up voices to the younger chorus of giggles.

The goose is all that’s serious here…and that not for long. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-70775-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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