Readers won’t want to wait to find out where the Dinotrux will go next.


From the Dinotrux series

The third in Gall’s crashing, smashing series takes the hot and grumpy Dinotrux on a vacation to the beach. What mayhem will ensue?

Anyone who has experienced the cooling relief of water in the hot summer will know exactly how these trucks feel cannonballing into the water, sinking beneath the waves, and squirting water out in a stream—the delight is plain in their headlights and grilles. And that’s not all that will be familiar: among other things, Digasaurus buries himself in the sand, Dumploducus unfortunately finds a nest of crabs, the Deliveradons have forgotten their sunscreen, and incontinent Cementosaurus gets bombed by sea gulls. The second half is taken up with the Dinotrux’s attempt at building a sand castle, a dismal failure until Tyrannosaurus Trux takes charge and gets everyone cooperating, each Dinotruck doing the job for which it was made (born?). In the process, the group saves tiny Scoopasaurus from a menacing threat and gives a cave couple some new digs. Gall’s penciled, digitally colored illustrations are sure to draw readers in, the Dinotrucks a masterful combination of childish enthusiasm and rough, tough machines. Pair this with Molly Idle’s Sea Rex for a prehistoric storytime sure to have listeners in stitches and looking for more dino fun.

Readers won’t want to wait to find out where the Dinotrux will go next. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 2, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-316-37553-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2015

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Formulaic but not stale…even if it does mine previous topical material rather than expand it.


From the How Do Dinosaurs…? series

A guide to better behavior—at home, on the playground, in class, and in the library.

Serving as a sort of overview for the series’ 12 previous exercises in behavior modeling, this latest outing opens with a set of badly behaving dinos, identified in an endpaper key and also inconspicuously in situ. Per series formula, these are paired to leading questions like “Does she spit out her broccoli onto the floor? / Does he shout ‘I hate meat loaf!’ while slamming the door?” (Choruses of “NO!” from young audiences are welcome.) Midway through, the tone changes (“No, dinosaurs don’t”), and good examples follow to the tune of positive declarative sentences: “They wipe up the tables and vacuum the floors. / They share all the books and they never slam doors,” etc. Teague’s customary, humongous prehistoric crew, all depicted in exact detail and with wildly flashy coloration, fill both their spreads and their human-scale scenes as their human parents—no same-sex couples but some are racially mixed, and in one the man’s the cook—join a similarly diverse set of sibs and other children in either disapprobation or approving smiles. All in all, it’s a well-tested mix of oblique and prescriptive approaches to proper behavior as well as a lighthearted way to play up the use of “please,” “thank you,” and even “I’ll help when you’re hurt.”

Formulaic but not stale…even if it does mine previous topical material rather than expand it. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-36334-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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A brisk if bland offering for series fans, but cleverer metafictive romps abound.


From the How To Catch… series

The titular cookie runs off the page at a bookstore storytime, pursued by young listeners and literary characters.

Following on 13 previous How To Catch… escapades, Wallace supplies sometimes-tortured doggerel and Elkerton, a set of helter-skelter cartoon scenes. Here the insouciant narrator scampers through aisles, avoiding a series of elaborate snares set by the racially diverse young storytime audience with help from some classic figures: “Alice and her mad-hat friends, / as a gift for my unbirthday, / helped guide me through the walls of shelves— / now I’m bound to find my way.” The literary helpers don’t look like their conventional or Disney counterparts in the illustrations, but all are clearly identified by at least a broad hint or visual cue, like the unnamed “wizard” who swoops in on a broom to knock over a tower labeled “Frogwarts.” Along with playing a bit fast and loose with details (“Perhaps the boy with the magic beans / saved me with his cow…”) the author discards his original’s lip-smacking climax to have the errant snack circling back at last to his book for a comfier sort of happily-ever-after.

A brisk if bland offering for series fans, but cleverer metafictive romps abound. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 3, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-7282-0935-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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