Fun, accessible Jurassic jargon and hijinks.

HELLO DINOSAURS!

From the Hello…! series

A group of smiling dinosaurs chases after some runaway eggs while modeling some of the traits that make our prehistoric predecessors so fascinating to toddlers.

Though at first glance this resembles any number of other dinosaur-themed board books, there’s a lot to like here. The artwork makes no attempt at realism, but the bright hues and vibrant personalities of the dinosaurs are eye-catching and fun. The text has an engaging, simple cadence: “Hello dinosaurs / Hello eggs / Hello GIANT stomping legs,” etc. The plot, such as it is, is uncomplicated: A group of inquisitive dinosaurs pokes and prods at some eggs in a nest, accidentally sending them rolling down a hill. Their pursuit of the eggs becomes a vehicle for comparing different modes of dinosaur locomotion; other comparisons made include diets, size, teeth, and protective features (think claws, plates, tails, and horns). The book conveys a surprising amount of information in terms that kids will easily understand: “Carnivores snag a treat / on the go they gobble meat. / Herbivores grab plants to munch / Omnivores grab both for lunch.” After the eggs safely come to a complete stop, the pages fold open on both recto and verso into a double-gatefold panorama wherein 21 types of dinosaurs are named. The proceedings conclude with the hatching of three adorable baby dinosaurs.

Fun, accessible Jurassic jargon and hijinks. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-1870-7

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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A sweet but standard-issue Christmas read.

THE ABCS OF CHRISTMAS

Little ones are taught their ABCs with Christmas iconography.

A CAT nibbles on a candy cane, and FOXES sing holiday carols, while LANTERNS glow and ORNAMENTS sparkle on festive trees. Christmas is in the air, and so are the letters of the alphabet. Each letter gets a corresponding Christmas illustration, charmingly colored and cozily composed. The easily read text beneath each picture forms rhyming couplets (“GEESE with gumdrops stacked up tall. / HOME is where we deck the halls”), with the key word set in all caps. The imagery mixes spiritual and secular icons side by side: there are baby JESUS, SANTA, the “Three kind KINGS,” and (a little mystifyingly) “UNICORNS donning underwear.” The warm color palette draws little readers in, and the illustrations have a gingerbread-cookie aesthetic, though there is no real attempt to include Christmas traditions such as luminaria from nondominant cultures. The picture that groups a stereotypical Eskimo, an igloo, and some penguins will madden many readers on both cultural and geographical fronts.

A sweet but standard-issue Christmas read. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7624-6125-7

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Running Press Kids

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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This will have readers putting on their dancing shoes to do the “cha cha cha” with their dino-babies

DINOSAUR DANCE!

It's not the first time dinosaurs have been featured in a clever Boynton board book. It seems she—and we—can't get enough.

As her fans know, Boynton has a sly wit that respects the intelligence of her young fans and amuses the adults asked to “read it again.” In this book she introduces nine dinosaurs, each of which dances in a way that seems totally appropriate for that particular species. “The blue Stegosaurus goes SHIMMY SHIMMY SHAKE. / The red Brontosaurus goes QUIVERY QUAKE.” Drawing on her experience as a children’s musician, she writes a text that trips along like a song with rhymes that make sense but don't intrude. The illustrations, typical Boynton, reflect her greeting-card background. They are cartoonish but manage to capture the unique personality of each creature. The unnamed dinosaur narrator looks genuinely distraught at not being able to name the “tiny little dino” that “goes DEEDLY DEE.” Spoiler alert: the tiny little dinosaur is probably Compsognathus and would be about the size of a small chicken. Young dinophiles would be impressed if the dinosaurologists in their lives could supply that factoid, but alas, they will have to look it up.

This will have readers putting on their dancing shoes to do the “cha cha cha” with their dino-babies . (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-8099-4

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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