Still, it's very hard to resist a dragon who finally eats his vegetables; parents who are trying to wean a child off an...

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SENDA AND THE GLUTTON DRAGON

A candy-devouring dragon is at the heart of this fairy-tale–themed bedtime story.

Little Senda hears a story of a "Glutton Dragon" at reading time and then imagines herself helping a prince and princess in a typical faraway kingdom. The dragon makes off with the princess when he mistakes her for sweets. Senda and the prince teach the fire-breathing but otherwise very easygoing dragon that there are others kinds of food to eat, including carrots, potatoes and peas. Princess saved, Senda returns from her imagination to finish off the school day, then goes home and is tucked in. The app’s presentation is lovely, with dynamic animations and detailed color illustrations with a wider palette than is usually seen. The backgrounds are wider than the screen, allowing readers to move the image left and right and giving each page a panorama effect. The app keeps a running tally of the 100 or so stars readers can collect throughout the story. Unfortunately, the text ranges from only serviceable to clumsy, as if a few bad translations made it through editing: "The Prince suggested the Dragon: We'll cook a delicious meal for you and, in turn, you'll free the princess."

Still, it's very hard to resist a dragon who finally eats his vegetables; parents who are trying to wean a child off an all-sugar diet should take a look. (Requires iOS 6 and above.) (iPad storybook app. 3-7)

Pub Date: July 20, 2014

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: SOYO Interactive

Review Posted Online: Sept. 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2014

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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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Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.

THE DINKY DONKEY

Even more alliterative hanky-panky from the creators of The Wonky Donkey (2010).

Operating on the principle (valid, here) that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, Smith and Cowley give their wildly popular Wonky Donkey a daughter—who, being “cute and small,” was a “dinky donkey”; having “beautiful long eyelashes” she was in consequence a “blinky dinky donkey”; and so on…and on…and on until the cumulative chorus sails past silly and ludicrous to irresistibly hysterical: “She was a stinky funky plinky-plonky winky-tinky,” etc. The repeating “Hee Haw!” chorus hardly suggests what any audience’s escalating response will be. In the illustrations the daughter sports her parent’s big, shiny eyes and winsome grin while posing in a multicolored mohawk next to a rustic boombox (“She was a punky blinky”), painting her hooves pink, crossing her rear legs to signal a need to pee (“winky-tinky inky-pinky”), demonstrating her smelliness with the help of a histrionic hummingbird, and finally cozying up to her proud, evidently single parent (there’s no sign of another) for a closing cuddle.

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-60083-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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