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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Only for dedicated fans of the series.

HOW TO CATCH A MONSTER

From the How To Catch… series

When a kid gets the part of the ninja master in the school play, it finally seems to be the right time to tackle the closet monster.

“I spot my monster right away. / He’s practicing his ROAR. / He almost scares me half to death, / but I won’t be scared anymore!” The monster is a large, fluffy poison-green beast with blue hands and feet and face and a fluffy blue-and-green–striped tail. The kid employs a “bag of tricks” to try to catch the monster: in it are a giant wind-up shark, two cans of silly string, and an elaborate cage-and-robot trap. This last works, but with an unexpected result: the monster looks sad. Turns out he was only scaring the boy to wake him up so they could be friends. The monster greets the boy in the usual monster way: he “rips a massive FART!!” that smells like strawberries and lime, and then they go to the monster’s house to meet his parents and play. The final two spreads show the duo getting ready for bed, which is a rather anticlimactic end to what has otherwise been a rambunctious tale. Elkerton’s bright illustrations have a TV-cartoon aesthetic, and his playful beast is never scary. The narrator is depicted with black eyes and hair and pale skin. Wallace’s limping verses are uninspired at best, and the scansion and meter are frequently off.

Only for dedicated fans of the series. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4926-4894-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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Hee haw.

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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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