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Tacky and the Emperor

January 11, 2012

By: Carisa Kluver

The Digital Media Diet

Tacky enjoys being treated like royalty when he puts on new clothes ...

The emperor of all the penguins in the Nice Icy Land is coming to visit. After discovering a pile of unattended clothes (that belong to the Emperor), Tacky puts the fancy outfit on and is treated like a royal guest by his very own siblings. Tacky doesn't do anything to let the other penguins know it is just him under the fancy frocks, until the real emperor shows up. The Emperor is won over in the end by Tacky's humor, feeling like he just be a penguin for a day without the burden of the royal outfit.

This title has some nice elements that play on the story of the "Emperor's New Clothes" and, like other omBooks from Oceanhouse Media, this title is solidly made with simple swipe-style page turning. It would benefit from the addition of a page guide, but is otherwise easily navigated by little fingers. The story, by Helen Lester, is beloved in print, published in 2000. The digital version is no exception, only adding to the otherwise delightful story.

The app is also lightly interactive, engaging and well-narrated. It also enhances early reading skills, with narration that highlights as it is read and images that name themselves when tapped. For example, touch Tacky's shirt and the word "shirt" appears on screen while it is spoken aloud by the narrator. There is light animation in the form of falling snow that also enhances this title without getting in the way of reading comprehension.

Overall, this is a top-notch digital picture book. It has a fun story that kids will love. The Tacky books are particularly good for teaching about appreciating difference. Tacky's less-than-admirable habits are also good discussion points about accepting others despite their faults.

All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.


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Tacky and the Emperor

January 11, 2012

By: Carisa Kluver

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Helen Lester/Lynn Munsinger

Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Length (time):
10 - 12 Minutes

Based on non-digital book: Yes

Allows Own Narration:

Uses Motion: No

Age: 4 - 8

English •

Length (pages):
66 Pages


Story Synopsis - Tacky and the Emperor

From Kirkus Reviews (print title synopsis): Tacky, the delightful penguin who marches (or is it waddles?) to a different drummer is back in another funny and charming tale-this time involving a royal visit from the emperor. When Tacky and his five iceberg-mates learn that the emperor is coming to visit, they enter into frenzied preparations. A feast of fish-flavored food is prepared, entertainment is rehearsed, and Tacky is put in charge of the balloons. But when he blows up a really big balloon, he takes an unplanned ride and ends up on a neighboring iceberg, which, unbeknownst to Tacky, is the emperor's home. Seeing a set of very fancy clothes lying unattended and unclaimed on the ice, he puts them on and waddles back to his own iceberg. To his amazement, his five friends make a huge fuss over him, plying him with food and making sure he's amused and happy. Although Tacky doesn't realize it, his friends have mistaken him for the emperor. When the real emperor arrives, the five others are mortified that there is nothing left with which to impress him, and are exasperated with Tacky. The emperor, who turns out to be sick to death of the stuffy and formal visits most of his subjects make him sit through, has a great time with Tacky and his improvisations. Instead of the fish-flavored food that the emperor is usually offered, they have snowball cones; instead of a boring dance recital, Tacky sings his favorite silly song; and they all (even his royal highness) tell penguin jokes. The watercolor illustrations are adorable and full of humor-note especially the fish-flavored ice cream, the emperor's twinkle-toed shoes, and the double-page spread on which the penguins learn about the mistake that's been made. Children will think this book is a riot and won't even realize that a message is being delivered-a charming one about the joys of non-conformity. (Picture book. 4-8) -- Copyright © 2000 Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.


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Orientation: Landscape

Format: Universal


Autoplay, Read-it-myself, Read-to-me, News on/off, Sound on/off, Links to: Email, Web, AppStore, FB/Twitter

App Release Date:


Size: 14.81 MB

Version: 1.08

Lite Version Available: No



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