A little technical for very first encounters, but both the content and the interactive presentation will absorb younger fans...

LIFE ON EARTH: DINOSAURS

Cartoon portraits of ancient creatures and the modern scientists who study them illustrate a lift-the-flap dino Q-and-A.

Printed on sturdy stock and grouped into general topics (“On the Move: Let’s see how dinosaurs moved.”), the questions scattered across each page range from general queries such as “Could dinosaurs swim?” (no: contemporary sea creatures were marine reptiles and not dinosaurs) to anatomical and behavioral specifics: “Why did plant-eaters swallow rocks?” “Was T. rex a scavenger or a hunter?” “What does a fossil footprint tell us?” Most, though not all, of the answers are concealed beneath hinged rectangular flaps of diverse size and, aside from a few bobbles, such as defining “prehistoric” as “before humans,” offer generally accurate information. Lozano alternates simplified but recognizable figures of dinosaurs and their contemporaries in prehistoric settings with views of two young investigators—one white, one brown—in a museum or working at a dig or in a lab. These two also appear, though more briefly, in the co-published Life on Earth: Jungle, which presents an array of general facts about select jungle animals and products.

A little technical for very first encounters, but both the content and the interactive presentation will absorb younger fans of dinosaurs or natural science in general. (Informational novelty. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-84780-904-9

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2017

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An inventive idea cleverly executed.

SOME DINOSAURS ARE SMALL

A dinosaur story of family and size.

This surprising picture book uses illustrations that slowly build in tension to create a sense of high drama paired with simple, informative text that, on its own, says very little. “Some dinosaurs are small,” it starts, with a wee green reptile happily gathering pineapples in a basket. “They have tiny flat teeth for munching through fruit and leaves,” it goes on, with the small protagonist plucking a pear. But the next page, which says merely that “Some dinosaurs are BIG,” starts to introduce anxiety as enormous yellow and orange legs and tails flank the much smaller dino. The following page introduces two menacing theropods who, accordingly, “have huge pointy teeth and sharp claws.” Readers learn additional basic facts about the personalities and habits of the bigger dinosaurs as they steal fruit from the little one, who at first peeks over its shoulder anxiously and then bolts away. But luckily, the last dinosaur readers meet, who is “simply… /ENORMOUS,” turns out to be the teeny one’s mother, and she scares away the relatively puny carnivores. The well-paced text steadily and deliberately drives the image-drawn action forward, making for an engaging read-aloud that’s sure to appeal to dinosaur lovers and their friends.

An inventive idea cleverly executed. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0936-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2020

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There’s not much beyond the razzle-dazzle, but it’s got that in spades.

ROAR

A DINOSAUR TOUR

Intense hues light up a prehistoric parade.

It’s really all about the colors. The endpapers are twinned head-shot galleries captioned, in the front, with scientific names (“Tyrannosaurus rex”) and pronunciations and, in the rear, translations of same (“Tyrant Lizard King”). In between, Paul marches 18 labeled dinos—mostly one type per page or spread, all flat, white-eyed silhouettes posed (with occasional exceptions) facing the same way against inconspicuously stylized background. The text runs toward the trite: “Some dinosaurs were fast… / and other dinosaurs were slow.” But inspired by the fact that we know very little about how dinosaurs were decorated (according to a brief author’s note), Paul makes each page turn a visual flash. Going for saturated hues and vivid contrasts rather than complex patterns, he sets red-orange spikes like flames along the back of a mottled aquamarine Kentrosaurus, places a small purple-blue Compsognathus beneath a towering Supersaurus that glows like a blown ember, pairs a Giganotosaurus’ toothy head and crest in similarly lambent shades to a spotted green body, and outfits the rest of his cast in like finery. “Today you can see their bones at the museum,” he abruptly, inadequately, and simplistically concludes.

There’s not much beyond the razzle-dazzle, but it’s got that in spades. (Informational picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: April 17, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6698-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 11, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2018

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