This may be slight, but it’s also tasty fun that goes down easily and is sure to provoke demands for seconds (and thirds...

READ REVIEW

DINO BITES!

More of a snack than a full-course meal, this brief, briskly-paced adventure will nonetheless capture the attention of the very youngest dinosaur fans—and give the adults reading aloud a good giggle too.

Cartoon-style illustrations of three kinds of dinosaurs and a dragonflylike insect gallop, dart and swoop in a primitive portrait of a basic food chain that quickly pivots to become a prehistoric take on the old lady who swallowed a fly. A great, green T. Rex looks forward to gobbling a smaller, purple-plated dinosaur. Meanwhile the purple-plated dinosaur plans to snack on a little blue guy who’s busy chasing that big bug. Simple sentences and single-word captions propel the action through crunching and munching to the abrupt, explosive but ultimately happy ending (which will undoubtedly seem especially hilarious to preschoolers schooled in polite behavior). Broad humor may distract readers from the cleverness of the text, which features amusing internal rhymes and parallel sentences that punch up the joke. Variations in font mirror the differences between the characters, heavy black outlines make the creatures pop against brightly colored pages, and the simply drawn eyes and mouths are remarkably expressive.

This may be slight, but it’s also tasty fun that goes down easily and is sure to provoke demands for seconds (and thirds and…). (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 5, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-907967-50-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Boxer Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 16, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2013

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Still, this young boy’s imagination is a powerful force for helping him deal with life, something that should be true for...

OLIVER AND HIS EGG

Oliver, of first-day-of-school alligator fame, is back, imagining adventures and still struggling to find balance between introversion and extroversion.

“When Oliver found his egg…” on the playground, mint-green backgrounds signifying Oliver’s flight into fancy slowly grow larger until they take up entire spreads; Oliver’s creature, white and dinosaurlike with orange polka dots, grows larger with them. Their adventures include sharing treats, sailing the seas and going into outer space. A classmate’s yell brings him back to reality, where readers see him sitting on top of a rock. Even considering Schmid’s scribbly style, readers can almost see the wheels turning in his head as he ponders the girl and whether or not to give up his solitary play. “But when Oliver found his rock… // Oliver imagined many adventures // with all his friends!” This last is on a double gatefold that opens to show the children enjoying the creature’s slippery curves. A final wordless spread depicts all the children sitting on rocks, expressions gleeful, wondering, waiting, hopeful. The illustrations, done in pastel pencil and digital color, again make masterful use of white space and page turns, although this tale is not nearly as funny or tongue-in-cheek as Oliver and His Alligator (2013), nor is its message as clear and immediately accessible to children.

Still, this young boy’s imagination is a powerful force for helping him deal with life, something that should be true for all children but sadly isn’t. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: July 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-7573-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2014

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It’s a bit hard to dance, or count, to this beat.

ONE MORE DINO ON THE FLOOR

Dinos that love to move and groove get children counting from one to 10—and perhaps moving to the beat.

Beginning with a solo bop by a female dino (she has eyelashes, doncha know), the dinosaur dance party begins. Each turn of the page adds another dino and a change in the dance genre: waltz, country line dancing, disco, limbo, square dancing, hip-hop, and swing. As the party would be incomplete without the moonwalk, the T. Rex does the honors…and once they are beyond their initial panic at his appearance, the onlookers cheer wildly. The repeated refrain on each spread allows for audience participation, though it doesn’t easily trip off the tongue: “They hear a swish. / What’s this? / One more? / One more dino on the floor.” Some of the prehistoric beasts are easily identifiable—pterodactyl, ankylosaurus, triceratops—but others will be known only to the dino-obsessed; none are identified, other than T-Rex. Packed spreads filled with psychedelically colored dinos sporting blocks of color, stripes, or polka dots (and infectious looks of joy) make identification even more difficult, to say nothing of counting them. Indeed, this fails as a counting primer: there are extra animals (and sometimes a grumpy T-Rex) in the backgrounds, and the next dino to join the party pokes its head into the frame on the page before. Besides all that, most kids won’t get the dance references.

It’s a bit hard to dance, or count, to this beat. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8075-1598-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2016

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