Author: Antonio Mugica
Illustrator: Hermann Mejía
Publication Date: February 1, 2012
Publisher: Multiple Personality Entertainment
Number of pages: 36
Recommended age: 3 to 7
Reviewed by: Renee (Mother)
Through the use of rhyming verse, Hookitty-Tookitty-Tah tells the story of a King who, concerned for the safety of his people, makes a truce with a dragon that if they provide him with mountains of sweets, the dragon will not eat the townsfolk. But an accidental substitution of salt for sugar in one of the recipes turns the dragon from yellow to purple, enraging the beast who threatens to eat one of their children every day if his natural colour is not restored. Frightened, the people of the tiny town turn to Hookitty-Tookitty-Tah, a famous wizard baker boy, who bakes up a series of magical treats that changes the dragon from colour to colour to colour until finally he, not only has a tummy-ache, but is finally back to his old yellow self.
My Thoughts: Hookitty-Tookitty-Tah was a fun, quirky read with an interesting and creative story that sees an evil dragon outsmarted by the underdogs with the help of a young wizard. It was delightful to see how, with each different “treat”, the dragon would change into a new colour, until finally at the end, he is presented with the most enormous and sugary concoction yet. After devouring this last treat, he successfully regains his original hue of yellow, but he also makes himself sick eating so many sweets.
The message in the book is that things go badly and you will feel sick when you eat too many sweets – – a message that sometimes seem lost on my children. However, that message seems a bit lost when the dragon achieves his goal (of turning back to his normal colour) after eating the most sweets. Maybe if he had eaten vegetables and fruits and THEN turned back yellow, it would have really driven this message home.
I felt that the rhyming and cadence of this book were very well done. I didn’t find myself tripping over words at all. The illustrations in the book are FANTASTIC! There is a wide variety in terms of using full pages and partial pages for the illustrations and there is sufficient detail on each page to maintain children’s interest. Very kid-friendly illustrations!
I do have to raise one concern that I had with the content. Perhaps this won’t be an issue for everyone, but when the dragon changes colour accidently for the first time, he threatens the townsfolk by saying that, if they don’t change him back, he will eat one of their children every day. I felt that perhaps this was a bit harsh for a picture book. Maybe eating one of their cows or goats would have been a bit more age-appropriate. This concept may be frightening to some young children.
My Bottom Line: Hookity-Tookitty-Tah is a fun little book which uses rhyming verse and wonderful illustrations to spin an imaginative story that I’m sure will be enjoyed by children and their families – especially those who love stories about dragons. I also like that there is a Spanish version available (see below). I recommend this book for children ages 3 and older.
* This book was provided to us free-of-charge in exchange for our honest review.*
About the Author
Antonio Mugica is a musician and author, and also a successful executive in the technology business world, as the founder and CEO of the Smartmatic Group. His most recent children’s book Hookitty-Tookitty-Tah was recognized with a Gold Medal from the prestigious Moonbeam Award for Best Book in the Spanish Language. Mugica has written poetry, fiction, children’s fiction and screenplays. He wrote and designed the special effects for an experimental short film ‘la Besofagia’ that won the award for best special effects in the Caracas Video Art festival. As a composer he created the choral symphonic suite ‘Surprise’, that was premiered to a live audience on 1998.
About the Illustrator
Hermann Mejia is a Venezuelan born / New York Based plastic artist that has recently been named as one of the 15 most important artists in Venezuelan history by the Huffington Post. Starting at a very early age as a self-taught master drawer, he won his first award when he was seven years old in Tokyo Japan. Many acknowledge him as a master watercolorist, and it is this technique what lies mainly behind his work in Hookitty-Tookitty-Tah. In 2001 he was nominated for Best Artist at the Harvey Award. In 2003, he won the National Cartoonist Society Reuben Award for his work in the area.
Also Available in Spanish
Follow Mother Daughter Book Reviews
Won’t you please sign up by entering your email address below? Thank you!