DINOSAURS!

STRANGE AND WONDERFUL

From the Strange and Wonderful series

A book about dinosaurs, from a science writer (Batman, 1991 etc.) with a strong track record, who here may have misjudged his audience. The picture book format will turn away grade-schoolers old enough to grasp such complicated concepts as fossils, which are introduced but not fully explained. The writing is skillfully on target, if a bit formal, for younger dinophiles. They will find the full-color, detailed illustrations convincingly scaly and realistically ugly; especially good is Heyer's pachyrhinosaurus with its swirling multihued skin. It illustrates Pringle's comment that fossils teach nothing about the colors of dinosaurs, nor about the sounds they made. (Nonfiction. 4+)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1995

ISBN: 1-878093-16-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1995

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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

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Not the duo’s best, but fans will enjoy the effort.

THERE WAS AN OLD SCIENTIST WHO SWALLOWED A DINOSAUR!

From the There Was an Old Lady series

“There was an old scientist who swallowed a dinosaur. / I don’t know why she swallowed a dinosaur, but she went to explore.”

She swallows a fern to feed the saurian, then a rock and a pick and a dustpan. In between the old scientist’s gastronomical feats, two children, one tan-skinned and one light-skinned—ask each other questions or spout facts about dinosaurs and paleontology. “Fossils are rocks containing traces of the past.” “Evidence of plants and animals built to last!” The book, the latest of Colandro’s many takes on the “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” song, closes with the old scientist, the kids, and the dinosaurs visiting a museum of natural history. With a rhyme scheme that is often as strained as the conceit of the voracious old lady, Colandro makes another foray into nonfiction that is relatively light on facts (previous titles have explored holidays, the seasons, astronomy, and undersea life). Lee is again along to offer his signature bug-eyed and scribbly illustrations that can be a bit unnerving at times. The children’s rhyming banter in speech bubbles interrupts the old lady patter, making the whole at once familiar and clunky. Paleo facts and a scavenger hunt at the end might add to the instruction and the fun respectively. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Not the duo’s best, but fans will enjoy the effort. (Informational picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: May 3, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-338-66840-7

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022

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