If you think children’s books set in prehistory are all about the boys, Oona Oodlethunk’s got your number.
Meet the Oodlethunks. If the Flintstones were creatures of the early 1960s, then the Oodlethunks are their hipster millennial cousins. Mom’s an on-the-go ad exec (her latest campaign: “It’s not just a wheel”); Dad sells new recipes at the farmers market; little brother Bonk lives up to his name; and Oona just wants a pet her brother won’t be allergic to. When she finds a gigantic abandoned egg, she thinks her prayers have been answered. Maybe it’s a dud or contains a predator, but maybe it’ll hatch into Something Cute. No matter what, Oona will do anything to protect it. She’ll even conquer her greatest fear after the yet-unhatched Eggy disappears from Oona’s home in broad daylight. Adults who bristle at the questionable chronology (prehistoric rope bridges and dino encounters?) are invited to take a chill pill. After all, the plot and central mystery surrounding Eggy’s disappearance are cleverly done, and facts about the flora and fauna surrounding West Woggle, the topography of Denver (which will eventually replace West Woggle), and even the state fossil of Colorado crop up in unexpected places. Animation artist Wu’s expressive drawings neatly bring this new modern Stone Age family’s antics to life.
Prehistoric? More like pre-hysterical. (Fantasy. 6-10)