I MET A DINOSAUR

A young girl's visit to the natural-history museum is intended to be an invitation to imagining dinosaurs everywhere— in the park, at the gas station, behind the shed, on the lake. What begins with intrigue and the promise of adventure rapidly bogs down in humdrum poetry panels paired with mismatched illustrations. The musings in the girl's mind do not always translate visually into specific types of dinosaurs. For example, it's hard to see how two electric towers become a triceratops or how a moose could be mistaken for a brontosaurus (now known as Apatosaurus). The illustrations stand alone, enticing and atmospheric on their own, but too often fail to bring readers into a visual understanding of the metamorphosis mentioned in the abstract text. Exceptions to this are the scales of a stegosaurus that form the sign for the gas station and the lumbering shape of a diplodocus that mimics treetops and rooftops in the fog. A good-looking design includes a clean layout and thoughtful composition, but the book in general does not sustain the creativity evidenced in its first and final panels. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-15-201644-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1997

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

WHEN DINOSAURS CAME WITH EVERYTHING

What if one day every merchant in town offered up, and indeed, insisted that shoppers take home a live dinosaur (free) with every purchase? That’s what happens to a boy and his mother in this sweet, absurd story that unfolds very much like a dream—or a nightmare, depending on the reader’s perspective on having a large dinosaur as a pet. In Small’s comical, wonderfully expressive watercolor-and-ink drawings, it’s easy to identify the mother’s reaction to the bonus triceratops (free with a dozen doughnuts); stegosaurus (from the doctor instead of stickers); and pterosaur (from the barber instead of the usual balloon): unmitigated horror, inversely proportionate to her son’s delight. The hulking beasts are irresistibly endearing, though, as they wait patiently, doglike, for their new owners outside all the town establishments and ultimately, once at home in the family’s backyard, prove their worth as household laborers, cleaning gutters and rescuing far-flung Frisbees. In the end, the boy’s friends bring their own newly acquired dinos over to his house for a poolside party—and he knows Mom has truly come around when she calls the baker for more doughnuts. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 25, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-689-86922-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2007

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

DANCING DINOS GO TO SCHOOL

Half a dozen lime-green dinosaurs are the stars of this delightful easy reader that offers most of the best qualities of the genre: rhyming text, a jolly rhythm, funny characters and lots of action. The well-written, brief text follows the dancing dinosaurs in a school-library setting as they dance right out of the pages of an open book and into mischief around the school and playground. The librarian, an African-American woman with glasses, and one male student follow the dinosaurs, but the action focuses firmly on the out-of-control dinosaurs. Though this is intended for new readers who are just starting to sound out words, both the storyline and appealing art are strong enough to work as a read-aloud for younger children as well. These dancing dinos have legs, and they ought to pop back out of their book for more rollicking adventures for new readers. (Easy reader. 4-7)

Pub Date: July 11, 2006

ISBN: 0-375-83241-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2006

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more