A DINOSAUR CALLED TINY

In this readable but ultimately forgettable story, a diminutive lime-green dinosaur follows in the literary footsteps of many other small but mighty characters who aid someone larger or more powerful. The tiny dinosaur, cleverly called Tiny, is cruelly taunted by the larger dinosaurs because of his size, so he finds a new friend, a bird named Archie. The pair of friends devise their own games and entertainments, happily spending time together. When Tyro the T. rex stomps so hard he cracks the (evidently fragile) ground, Tiny and Archie lead him to safety. The logistics of this rescue are hard to see in the illustrations because the cracks in the surface are rendered as flat gray lines that seem neither deep nor dangerous. Several spreads are confusing due to the inclusion of multiple images of the three main characters without clear delineation between scenes. Tiny and Archie do have a certain charm, both in their visual depiction and in their play together, but not enough to overcome the several mystifying spreads and the pat ending. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: July 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-06-136633-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2008

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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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DANCING DINOS GO TO SCHOOL

Half a dozen lime-green dinosaurs are the stars of this delightful easy reader that offers most of the best qualities of the genre: rhyming text, a jolly rhythm, funny characters and lots of action. The well-written, brief text follows the dancing dinosaurs in a school-library setting as they dance right out of the pages of an open book and into mischief around the school and playground. The librarian, an African-American woman with glasses, and one male student follow the dinosaurs, but the action focuses firmly on the out-of-control dinosaurs. Though this is intended for new readers who are just starting to sound out words, both the storyline and appealing art are strong enough to work as a read-aloud for younger children as well. These dancing dinos have legs, and they ought to pop back out of their book for more rollicking adventures for new readers. (Easy reader. 4-7)

Pub Date: July 11, 2006

ISBN: 0-375-83241-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2006

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