Kirkus Reviews QR Code
1-2-3 DINOSAURS BITE! by American Museum of Natural History


A Prehistoric Counting Book

by American Museum of Natural History, illustrated by Steve Jenkins

Age Range: 2 - 4

Pub Date: Oct. 2nd, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4027-7722-6
Publisher: Sterling

This dinosaur counting book doesn’t completely add up.

Jenkins provides his signature cut-paper collage for this prehistoric outing with a text attributed to the American Museum of Natural History. Five of the page spreads feature a different dinosaur species, such as Microraptor, Velociraptor and Tyrannosaurus. Readers are invited to count the ever-increasing bites on the page supposedly made by the dinosaurs (they are created by die cut). While a clever gimmick, the book design serves it poorly. The jagged bite marks are difficult to count, since other bite marks from subsequent pages show through, as well as stray images and partial lines of text. While the book lets readers count to five spread by spread, the next page rushes the counting the rest of the way to 10 with an abstract list of items to count. It is unclear what and where the “8 jagged bites that make these pages disappear...” are. The next page is a little more useful, with one sentence of dietary facts for each of the featured dinosaurs. The last spread reuses the art that has come before to give readers more items to count, but this feels like an afterthought. Four pages of backmatter are too much for a board book, and a more thoughtful design would have served the entire package better.

Despite the star power here, skip this one. (Board book. 2-4)