I don’t normally review children’s picture books, they’re a specialty all of their own as the illustrations are carefully put together to complement the story while the words are put together not just to tell a story but also to educate and help the child with their reading. Some stories have had more care taken with them and they’re generally the ones that span the generations. I’m making an exception with these two stories not because I was given them and asked to do so as I did consider turning down this opportunity but because I showed them to a couple of young children and they were entranced.
The Yuckies are creatures that live wherever there is rubbish, they eat it, live with it and then make the grass brown and the water disgusting. There is an environmental message here but so far with the first two books we haven’t seen that message we’ve only seen the question of what can we do to get rid of The Yuckies. The illustrations are quite cute (roll your eyes here as The Yuckies are not meant to be cute), I enjoyed what the illustrator, Helena Turinski, has done with the font more though. Here’s a photo to show you what I mean.
This was written and illustrated in Australia with an Australian reading it and they’ve bypassed the traditional publishing industry completely publishing it directly to the iPad. Bringing a whole new dimension to the book to include movement and audio, The Yuckies illustrates what I said in this post about the future of books. There’s a sound track throughout which adds to the story, it has two options as you can see from the photo, you can either read it yourself or have it read out loud to you by a male voice.
I took it to a friend’s house earlier this week and showed it to her five year old who carefully demonstrated it to his two year old sister. This was a touching scene, on the odd occasion he turned so she couldn’t see she complained and he turned it back. He had no trouble working the controls which are quite clear arrows and only start blinking when the voice and the visual effects have finished, he did discover it possible to move more than one page at a time but that only happens if you tap the arrow again before the writing comes up. Both kids were entranced, the younger one ate with her eyes glued to the screen most of the time.
Only available on the iPad you can get the first book here for free for a limited time and the second book here for $1.99. There are three more books planned to take the storyline further. Both the author, Bridget Cull, and the illustrator, Helena Turinski, are in Melbourne, Australia. I thank them for letting me share this.