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Tacky Goes to Camp by Oceanhouse Media – Review

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Tacky Goes to Camp by Oceanhouse Media is based on the book by Helen Lester. This is the story of Tacky the penguin and his friends Goodly, Lovely, Angel, Neatly and Perfect going to summer camp in the Nice Icy Land. The penguins are all dressed in scout- style uniform and camp at Camp WhoopiHaHa. Of course this isn’t your typical summer camp, for a start it’s snowing all the time.

Tacky is an odd bird that never quite fits in with the crowd – when everyone else packs a sleeping bag, first aid kit and a backpack, Tacky brings pizza, a television and rollerblades. The other penguins sleep in real tents; Tacky sleeps in a circus tent. The camp has many fun activities including rock climbing, synchronized swimming, and canoeing, Tacky joins in all of them in his own unique way. The highlight of the camp is sleeping under the stars with s’mores, camp songs and scary stories. Tacky loves s’mores and eats enough for the whole camp, but his scary story “Beware the Bear” isn’t so scary, and everyone goes to sleep a little disappointed. During the night a real bear pays a visit to the camp and Tacky becomes the unlikely hero.

This is a beautifully illustrated book, and a fun story. The (optional) narrator did a great job with reading the story – she really brought it to life, and the fun sound effects and continually falling snow were the icing on the cake. My kids thought the book was hilarious. The ability to touch objects/ characters and have them labeled is a great feature too – my kids especially liked touching all the things Tacky and his friends packed for camp. As well as being a really fun and entertaining read, this book also has an important message – it’s OK to be different, and an “Odd Bird” can still be a good bird to have around. This story has become a much requested bedtime read, my twins have started pretending to be Tacky, and my 4yo son is making up his own Tacky stories (but can’t quite understand why his versions aren’t available in app form yet!). The only thing I would suggest adding in a future update is an ability to record the story in your own voice.

We hadn’t heard of Tacky before reading this story, but afterwards my family have become huge Tacky fans. Highly recommended.

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