Interactive, prehistoric fun for the whole family.

DINOSAUR SURPRISE

Things aren’t always as they seem in this inventive gallery of dinosaurs in disguise.

Those caregivers who remember Mad magazine’s Fold-Ins will appreciate the central device of this fun and colorful board book. In Mad, when a large illustration of a seemingly ordinary scene was folded on the dotted lines, the folded elements came together to create a new picture illustrating the punchline to the joke. In this book, unfolding a seemingly innocuous picture reveals a bevy of dinosaurs to delight dinophiles of all ages. “Look,” opens the text, “isn’t that a beautiful butterfly?” But once readers pull out the accordion-folded page they see: “No, that’s a Pteranodon.” A page of text on verso faces a very nonthreatening image on recto until little readers extend the folded pages full length, revealing the hidden reptiles. “Oh no, it’s a spider! / Wait, it’s a Tyrannosaurus Rex…Run!” The text and the accompanying reveals lend themselves to call-and-response readings and squeals of laughter. The artwork is cartoonish and decidedly nonthreatening; some dinosaurs are more recognizable than others. The book scores points with an eclectic mix of dinosaurs, including some fairly obscure creatures—Kronosaurus, Parasaurolophus, and Europlocephalus, for instance—with points deducted for depicting Triceratops with a double row of spikes on its back and without the essential third horn on its beak by which it gets its name.

Interactive, prehistoric fun for the whole family. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: March 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-988-8341-95-5

Page Count: 20

Publisher: minedition

Review Posted Online: Jan. 21, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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Young dino fans will enjoy it, though their grown-ups may not.

NOISY DINOSAURS

From the My First Touch and Feel Sound Book series

What sounds did dinosaurs make? We don't really know.

Litton suggests some possibilities while introducing sophisticated vocabulary in a board-book format. Five dinosaurs are featured: Tyrannosaurus rex, Stegosaurus, Pterodactyl, Diplodocus, and Triceratops. For each species there is a brief description that highlights its distinctive features, followed by an invitation to hear and repeat the dinosaur's sound. There is no explanation for why scientists think T. Rex “roared,” Stegosaurus “howled,” Pterodactyl “screeched,” Diplodocus “growled,” or Triceratops “grunted.” The author tries to avoid sexism, carefully referring to two of the creatures as “she,” but those two are also described in stereotypically less-ferocious terms than the male dinos. The touch point on the Pterodactyl is a soft section of wing. Readers are told that Diplodocus “loved splashing in swamps,” and the instruction is to “tickle her tummy to hear her growl,” implying that this giant creature was gentle and friendly. None of this may matter to young paleontologists, who will enjoy finding the tactile section on each creature that triggers the sound. Despite extensive directions in small print, most parents and libraries won't bother to change the battery secured by a tiny hex screw, but while the battery lasts, the book will get lots of play.

Young dino fans will enjoy it, though their grown-ups may not. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-58925-207-3

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Aug. 5, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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A snore for all but the most avid toddler paleontologists.

NIGHT NIGHT, DINO-SNORES

After busy days spent doing what dinos do, nine colorful dinosaurs happily bed down for the night protected by a loving adult dino.

Each sleepy dinosaur inhabits a fanciful environment, though it is unclear whether they are based on known information about where dinosaurs lived. There is nothing ferocious or threatening about these dinosaurs. Nor are they likely to excite young paleontologists, as the purpose of the book is to convince young children to go to sleep, just like each of the dinosaurs. The singsong-y verses don’t really work as poetry. Uneven meter makes for an awkward read-aloud experience, and forced rhymes (“Mom” and “calm”; “leaves” and “trees”) are a bit of a stretch. Similarly, touch-and-feel elements added to one of the dinosaurs on each spread feel arbitrary and are more distraction than successful additions. Even toddlers will wonder why only one of each set of dinosaurs has this tactile element. Each spread ends with a “Good night” followed by an alliterative nickname: “Dozing Diplos”; “Resting Raptors”; “Tiny Pteros”; “Snoozing Spinos.” This affectation will turn off adults with a low tolerance for cute and potentially confuse readers just beginning to learn dinosaur names.

A snore for all but the most avid toddler paleontologists. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-680105-48-3

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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