ENCYCLOPEDIA PREHISTORICA

DINOSAURS: THE DEFINITIVE POP-UP

From capering Eoraptor, “the tiny terror of the early Triassic” to a ravening T. rex lunging up at viewers as its spread opens, this gallery of dinosaurs will elicit the “Ooooohs” of admiration that Sabuda’s work always does, though it’s not up to his usual standard, either visually or in paper design. Captioned by brief comments and snappy headers (“Smackdown: Dinosaur style”), the 35 or so pop-ups are arranged in small folded-down folios around a large central figure on each spread; consequently the scale is inconsistent, and some smaller models—particularly the skeletons intended to model differences between lizard-hipped and bird-hipped dinosaurs—are just complex, confusing tangles. Furthermore, the flat, mottled color scheme looks cheap rather than vibrant, and some of the popup figures (examples: the stegosaurus, the brachiosaurus [or is that an argentinosaurus? The caption isn’t clear]) open into unnatural postures. The topic will make this a crowd pleaser, but not even rabid dino or Sabuda fans are likely to pay it more than a single visit. (Nonfiction pop-up. 5-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-7636-2228-1

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2006

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DINOTRUX

From the Dinotrux series

The tough working trucks in Kate and Jim McMullan’s I Stink! (2002) and sequels look like lightweights next to their brawny prehistoric antecedents in Gall’s rousing, grimy full-bleed spreads. Crushing rocks and trees, flattening smaller creatures and sending diminutive cave people fleeing in pop-eyed panic, a round dozen metal behemoths roll by, from towering Craneosaurus—“CRACK, MUNCH. / Look out birds, it’s time for lunch!”—and the grossly incontinent Blacktopodon to a stampede of heavily armored Semisaurs and the “bully of the jungle,” toothy Tyrannosaurus Trux. Why aren’t these motorized monsters with us today? They are, though in the wake of a mighty storm that left most mired in the mud to rust, the survivors went South and, as a climactic foldout reveals, evolved into the more beneficent vehicles we know and love. Dinotrux ruled their world, and now they’re likely to rule this one too. Bellow on! (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: June 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-316-02777-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2009

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Formulaic but not stale…even if it does mine previous topical material rather than expand it.

HOW DO DINOSAURS SHOW GOOD MANNERS?

From the How Do Dinosaurs…? series

A guide to better behavior—at home, on the playground, in class, and in the library.

Serving as a sort of overview for the series’ 12 previous exercises in behavior modeling, this latest outing opens with a set of badly behaving dinos, identified in an endpaper key and also inconspicuously in situ. Per series formula, these are paired to leading questions like “Does she spit out her broccoli onto the floor? / Does he shout ‘I hate meat loaf!’ while slamming the door?” (Choruses of “NO!” from young audiences are welcome.) Midway through, the tone changes (“No, dinosaurs don’t”), and good examples follow to the tune of positive declarative sentences: “They wipe up the tables and vacuum the floors. / They share all the books and they never slam doors,” etc. Teague’s customary, humongous prehistoric crew, all depicted in exact detail and with wildly flashy coloration, fill both their spreads and their human-scale scenes as their human parents—no same-sex couples but some are racially mixed, and in one the man’s the cook—join a similarly diverse set of sibs and other children in either disapprobation or approving smiles. All in all, it’s a well-tested mix of oblique and prescriptive approaches to proper behavior as well as a lighthearted way to play up the use of “please,” “thank you,” and even “I’ll help when you’re hurt.”

Formulaic but not stale…even if it does mine previous topical material rather than expand it. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-36334-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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