A most excellent adventure, with more (Hint: Can you say “Aaarrrgh!”?) to come.

T. REX TIME MACHINE

DINOS IN DE-NILE

A feckless pair of time-traveling T. Rexes make a stopover in ancient Egypt.

Between the burning-hot sands and the crocodile-infested river, it’s shaping up to be a bummer of an outing—until young Tut happens along and, mistaking one of the dinos for Sobek, god of the Nile, declares himself a fanboy. From then on it’s all parties and feasting aboard the royal yacht, with tours of landmarks ranging from the Library of Alexandria (“And this is where I check out all your comic books”) to the Sphinx (“a practical joke that got out of hand”). This goes on until, that is, the extraterrestrials who “come down every couple of weeks to work on that triangle project” catch sight of the opportunistic visitors and dash the divinity bit with some Cretaceous Era selfies. Uh oh, time to jump back into the time machine for a quick, random getaway. Next stop (as the final scene suggests) is definitely not Kansas. Chapman floats blocky figures of the voracious visitors, their diversely brown human hosts, and hairless blue ETs clad in uniforms strongly reminiscent of Star Trek’s against very simple, often monochromatic backgrounds, leaving plenty of space for gags and banter. He also slips in an easter egg, having the real Sobek and archenemy Drought duke it out in a minicomic printed inside the dust jacket.

A most excellent adventure, with more (Hint: Can you say “Aaarrrgh!”?) to come. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4521-6155-6

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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A pleasant but, at best, superficial bit of sesquipedalian gallimaufry.

THEO THESAURUS

THE DINOSAUR WHO LOVED BIG WORDS

A young TheSaurus experiences difficulty communicating with his new fellow pupils following a move.

The first few days at his new school leave Theo feeling discommoded, as his friendly salutations, offers to share crudités at midday repast, and commence a game of “conceal-and-search” on the playground are met with mute incomprehension. Not even a general invitation to his hatching-day festivities seems to ignite much enthusiasm, as party time comes and goes with nary a sign of guests. Plainly feeling that a happy ending obviates the need for internal logic, Johannes has Theo’s parents comfort him with a hug—whereupon the doorbell rings and the inexplicably tardy classmates troop in. Moran doesn’t rise to the challenge of the text, kitting Theo out with a bow tie (because big vocabulary = nerd, right?) and leaving not just time (which might have made sense of the ending) but day and place as well off the party invitation Theo writes on the class chalkboard. Younger logophiles may savor the wordplay and appreciate the “Defino-Dino” who occasionally pops into view with a helpful definition (“Conceal-and-search,” it explains, “is another way of saying hide-and-seek”). Readers will find richer digging in, say, Douglas Florian’s Dinothesaurus (2009) or Anya Glazer’s Thesaurus Has a Secret (2020). (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at 75% of actual size.)

A pleasant but, at best, superficial bit of sesquipedalian gallimaufry. (glossary) (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: May 18, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-20551-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2021

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Readers won’t want to wait to find out where the Dinotrux will go next.

DINOTRUX DIG THE BEACH

From the Dinotrux series

The third in Gall’s crashing, smashing series takes the hot and grumpy Dinotrux on a vacation to the beach. What mayhem will ensue?

Anyone who has experienced the cooling relief of water in the hot summer will know exactly how these trucks feel cannonballing into the water, sinking beneath the waves, and squirting water out in a stream—the delight is plain in their headlights and grilles. And that’s not all that will be familiar: among other things, Digasaurus buries himself in the sand, Dumploducus unfortunately finds a nest of crabs, the Deliveradons have forgotten their sunscreen, and incontinent Cementosaurus gets bombed by sea gulls. The second half is taken up with the Dinotrux’s attempt at building a sand castle, a dismal failure until Tyrannosaurus Trux takes charge and gets everyone cooperating, each Dinotruck doing the job for which it was made (born?). In the process, the group saves tiny Scoopasaurus from a menacing threat and gives a cave couple some new digs. Gall’s penciled, digitally colored illustrations are sure to draw readers in, the Dinotrucks a masterful combination of childish enthusiasm and rough, tough machines. Pair this with Molly Idle’s Sea Rex for a prehistoric storytime sure to have listeners in stitches and looking for more dino fun.

Readers won’t want to wait to find out where the Dinotrux will go next. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 2, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-316-37553-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2015

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