“DINOSAUR WINS!” So will young readers and listeners likewise charged up with dino DNA.

READ REVIEW

DINOSAUR VS. SANTA

From the Dinosaur vs… series

Fresh from roaring out at bedtime (2008), at potty training (2010) and in the library (2011) Shea’s prehistoric preschooler takes on Christmas.

Flashing dentifrice that would do a shark proud, the diminutive dino “attacks” a letter to Santa, struts proudly away from a newly decorated (at least in its lower branches) tree, glues up crafty gifts for the parents and heroically takes a pass on a tempting gingerbread cookie (“Dinosaur versus… / being extra good!”). After sneaking downstairs for a Santa sighting (“something no dinosaur should ever do”), he even surmounts the supreme challenge of falling asleep on Christmas Eve. Flashing expressions that range from fierce scowls and high jubilation to a less showy—but more substantial—grimace of triumph (see cookie encounter, above), the energetic urchin gambols across appropriately noisy scatterings of crayons, craft sticks, glitter and various (secular) signs of the season placed by the author against backgrounds of solid color alternating with plaid and other patterns.

“DINOSAUR WINS!” So will young readers and listeners likewise charged up with dino DNA. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 11, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4231-6806-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: April 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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A kissing cousin to Bob Shea’s Dinosaur vs.… series.

DINOSAUR KISSES

Chomping and stomping come naturally to an exuberant dinosaur hatchling. Kissing? That takes practice.

Emerging from her egg at a run, Dinah STOMPS her fat legs and CHOMPS weeds with her sharp teeth. Kissing, though, turns out to be a challenge. After sending one hapless victim flying with a head butt and another inadvertently down the hatch (“Whoops,” she says. “Not good”), she returns to the hatchery…just in time to welcome a new sib with kisses—the sort that involve chomping, stomping and delighted head butts (“WHOMP!”). Drawn in thick outlines with a huge grin, wide eyes and a mottled yellow hide, Dinah stumps her way through minimally detailed prehistoric landscapes populated with anxious-looking smaller creatures. Children who groove on wimpy little butterfly kisses had best look elsewhere.

A kissing cousin to Bob Shea’s Dinosaur vs.… series. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6104-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 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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