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Waddle! (2009): Onomatowhato now?

Rufus Butler Seder, Waddle! (Workman Publishing, 2009)


A scanimated penguin (turn the page and it looks animated) adorns the book's front cover.

Dance, little penguin, DANCE!
photo credit:

If I’d written this review a month ago, I probably would have rated it lower. Waddle is the ultimate in gimmicky kids’ books, using “scanimation” to animate its simple pictures. It’s obvious a great deal more thought was put into the scanimation than the text here; there are a few places where the reader really has to stretch to get the rhythm to work, and I have no idea what the author was thinking when he came up with some of what I assume is supposed to be the onomatopoeia at the end of every second line (for example, “Can you stomp like an elephant? Boom boom thomp” makes perfect sense, but, um, “can you scamper like a bear? Bouncy bouncy play”…?). But we’ve had this one for a while now and the bean is still enchanted with the scanimation, so as far as gimmicks go, this one is workable. And since the Bean loves it and wants to read it (usually multiple times) at least four days a week, I kicked it up half a star. It is likely, however, to grate on the parent as much as it enchants the kid. ** ½

About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

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