An intriguing cover, attractive, action-filled illustrations, and an amusing story add up to a beginning reader with solid...

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HIDING DINOSAURS

From the I Like To Read series

In this comical emergent reader, a half-dozen eggs that are past their sell-by date provide a big surprise when they hatch into baby dinosaurs.

The unnamed narrator of the story notices the eggs moving in their carton, and soon they’ve hatched into tiny dinosaurs that the boy’s mother mistakes for toys. The boy hides the six prehistoric reptiles, all different types, in his room for a while, with some funny results as he strives to keep his parents out of his room: “Don’t come in! I’m naked!” he lies. In fairy-tale fashion, the dinosaurs grow to full size rapidly, eventually bursting through the roof of the family home. The boy’s parents are surprised at this development but receptive to their new pets, and the dinosaurs are welcomed into the neighborhood. Watercolor illustrations with pen-and-ink outlines depict smiling dinosaurs with bulging eyes and mottled skin colors. The dinosaurs are all a friendly bunch, giving rides to the neighbor kids and a fast mode of aerial transportation for the boy’s mom to get to work. Though the story isn’t particularly inventive, the enduring popularity of dinosaurs reappearing in the modern age will make this a useful addition to collections for new readers in libraries and classrooms.

An intriguing cover, attractive, action-filled illustrations, and an amusing story add up to a beginning reader with solid appeal. (Early reader. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3196-0

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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Gift items for confirmed young enthusiasts, with a substantial but not wearisome informational load.

DINOSAURS

From the Smithsonian Young Explorers series

In lunchbox-style packaging, a booklet of dino facts and a prehistoric panorama are presented on both a folded poster and a jigsaw puzzle.

Strother devotes 10 of her 32 pages to ornithischian, or bird-hipped, dinosaurs (correctly noting that they are not the ancestors of modern birds). She also manages to survey the Mesozoic Era in general, introduce a few theropods, describe fossilization, and present up-to-date information about dinosaur colors and extinction theories. All of this is crammed onto thematic spreads with small paintings and photos of fossils or generic images of fleshed-out reconstructions in minimally detailed settings. Francis contributes a collective portrait of dinosaurs of diverse size and period posing together over a labeled timeline. This can be hung up and, as a 130-piece jigsaw, assembled. Also available from the same author and illustrator, and likewise in a round-corned box with a carrying handle and snap close, is Oceans, a densely populated dive into the deep.

Gift items for confirmed young enthusiasts, with a substantial but not wearisome informational load. (Informational novelty. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-62686-145-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Silver Dolphin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

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Iguano-don’t bother.

PLAYTIME & MEALTIME

From the Iggy Iguanadon series

A little dinosaur navigates friendships and new foods in this early reader.

In “Playtime,” the first of this volume’s two stories, Mama tells Iggy that he’s to have a play date with Murka Macrosaur. Iggy’s afraid that she’ll be into girly things like princesses, but instead the two try a variety of different outdoor activities before settling on a ring toss that utilizes Triceratops Murka’s pointy nose. “Mealtime” sees Iggy eyeing a dinner of ferns with great suspicion. He’d much rather eat flowers, but even after Papa says he can’t have them until he tries his ferns, it takes Grandpa’s subtle intervention to convince the young dino to attempt something new. An opening key ranks the text as Level 2, defined as “Reading With Help.” With such words as Iguanodon, tagalong, Macrosaur, and triceratops on the first nine pages alone, that help will be sorely needed, especially for young readers who don’t already know their dinosaur names. Elegant writing does not mitigate this problem (“But Murka gets stuck in somersaults, the same as all triceratops”). Meanwhile, cumbersome, inexpressive art does little to distract from the text, and the absence of outlines around the uniformly green dinos makes compositions where bodies overlap particularly confusing. Finally, this may be set in the Cretaceous, but what really feels ancient are elements like an apron-wearing mom, a father as disciplinarian, and a grandfather who smokes a pipe. Companion title Bath Time & Bedtime publishes simultaneously.

Iguano-don’t bother. (Early reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-8075-3642-1

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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