For a series dubbed Tales of Prehistoric Life, this kickoff doesn’t offer much of a story, but it’s a memorable showcase for...

ANKYLOSAUR ATTACK

From the Tales of Prehistoric Life series , Vol. 1

Two armored dinosaurs square off against a hungry T. Rex in this quick but unusually immersive prehistoric episode.

Even by current high standards, the full-spread art is uncommonly photorealistic—featuring Cretaceous creatures on which every lump, scale, feather and wrinkle is sharply defined and woodsy settings in which nearly every leaf, frond and tuft of moss can be picked out. The plot, in which a young ankylosaur is rebuffed by an injured older one but then returns to help out when a slavering (see the drool) tyrannosaur attacks, is no great shakes, but who cares? The main event is definitely the close-up views of craggy dino faces and the T. Rex’s massive, shiny, pointed dentifrice. No blood or wounds are visible, and the figures seem frozen in tableaus, but Loxton and co-illustrator Smith choose close-up angles that evoke both the massive size of the contenders and the drama of their encounter effectively.

For a series dubbed Tales of Prehistoric Life, this kickoff doesn’t offer much of a story, but it’s a memorable showcase for a new dino-artist team.   (afterword) (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-55453-631-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: June 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

HOW DO DINOSAURS SHOW GOOD MANNERS?

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

Did you like this book?

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more