THE WRONG SIDE OF THE BED 3D

For readers still unconvinced that the features of the iPad can translate printed children's books into full-blown multimedia experiences, this one will change your point of view. Based on Keller's 1992 book, the app tells the story of Mott, a young boy who wakes up on the wrong side of his bed. Not the left or right side, but the underside. The world has turned upside-down (or perhaps it's just Mott), and he spends the rest of the day walking on ceilings and, eventually, slipping out of Earth's gravitational field altogether. The story makes sophisticated concepts of physics and perspective accessible. It cleverly explains the conceit, "If there's a left side, then there is a right side, and if there is a right side, then there must be a wrong side, right?" The app can display the tale in 2-D or 3-D, but even in 2-D, Keller's skewed views of vertigo-inducing bus rides (not to mention breakfast served on the wrong side of the plate) are gorgeously rendered. Unobtrusive instrumental sound effects punctuate the read-along narration, animations are minimal but effective and Mott's audio reactions can be heard by tapping him. In 3-D, the app soars even higher; the effect works well even with cheap red/cyan glasses (available for order through Amazon.com from within the app for as little as $4 for three pairs). The pages work just as effectively when viewed upside-down, a good reason for repeated readings. (iPad storybook app. 4-10)

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: Jan. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2011

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Positively refreshing.

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HAIR LOVE

A black girl helps her dad learn how to give her the perfect hairstyle for a very special day.

Zuri’s voluminous head of hair “has a mind of its own. It kinks, coils, and curls every which way.” She is pictured asleep with a large Afro framing her face. She is proud of her hair, which she sometimes wears in braids with beads like a princess and other times in pigtail puffs. But today is a special day. She knows Daddy is “worn-out” and probably needs a break, so she lets him sleep in while she looks up hairstyles on a tablet. When Daddy wakes and offers to help, he tries a series of hairstyles that just don’t work. Finally, Zuri grabs some hair supplies and shows him a tutorial. “Watching carefully… / Daddy combed, / parted, oiled, and twisted. / He nailed it!” Zuri is lovely and happy with her freshly done hairstyle, and when Mommy arrives to their “Welcome Home” sign, she loves Zuri’s look too. The digital illustrations feature details that feel just right: Zuri’s thick, textured hair, Daddy’s locs and tattoo, and dark-skinned Mom’s bright headwrap. While it’s unclear where Mommy is returning from (she is dressed casually and has a rolling black suitcase), this authentic depiction of a loving and whole black family broadens the scope of representation.

Positively refreshing. (Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-55336-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kokila

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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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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