This simple primer on the lizards that once roamed the Earth should inspire plenty of further explorations of the fossil...


Touchable textures, eye-catching foil and glitter, and the titular, winsome baby beasts highlight this introduction for toddlers to these fascinating lizards of yore.

From its thick, cushioned cover through its firm, final pages, this seemingly indestructible volume introduces seven species of dinosaurs, with a few basic facts and the correct pronunciation of each name. A “mommy” Saltasaurus has a long, leathery neck; her chirping offspring hatches from an egg. Children can feel the bumps on Edmontonia’s back and count the toes via his footprints: “His front feet have more toes.” Tyrannosaurus rex walks on two hind legs and eats meat, while baby Diplodocus, shown munching on ferns, is a confirmed vegetarian. Other dinosaurs are simply shown being babies. Triceratops hides in bushes and plays peekaboo, Styracosaurus is alert and playful, and Stegosaurus has fallen peacefully asleep on the last page. The hope, no doubt, is that pint-sized paleontologists reading this book will soon follow suit. Each dinosaur is computer-rendered but loaded with personality. Illustrations are presented on bright, monochromatic backgrounds; each white page is paired with a bright blue, red, yellow, pink, or purple one. Every page includes a textured feature to keep little fingers engaged and busy: leathery skin, gravelly footprints, embossed bumpy hides, or debossed horns or stripes, to name a few.

This simple primer on the lizards that once roamed the Earth should inspire plenty of further explorations of the fossil record. (Board book. 1-5)

Pub Date: May 8, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4654-6841-3

Page Count: 14

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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Useful for toddling birders in need of board books about colors.


Gorgeous birds amid foliage of similar hues introduce eight basic colors.

The two birds presented on each spread not only are of similar coloration, but also live in the same North American habitat. A scarlet tanager and a cardinal, both male, perch in a red maple tree; a male Eastern bluebird and a blue jay appear with morning glories and blueberries. The name of each color is printed in large font, while the name of each bird is in a much smaller one. Whether the bird shown is male or female, or if the male and female have similar coloring, is also indicated. The names of the trees they perch upon are identified in a note on the back cover. These details will be lost on most toddlers, but caregivers will appreciate being able to answer questions knowledgeably. Colors featured are from the standard box of crayons, except that pink is substituted for purple. Black and white share a spread. The cover image, of a cardinal, goldfinch, and bluebird in a birdbath, is not nearly as inviting as the images within. The final spread shows children (one white, one black, one Asian) assembling a puzzle that includes the same birds. This may serve as a reprise but will probably be skipped over. Bird-loving readers will probably feel that the space could have been put to better use by giving white birds their own page or adding a purple martin.

Useful for toddling birders in need of board books about colors. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-58089-742-6

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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Captivating—and not a bit terrifying.


From the Block Books series

Catering to young scientists, naturalists, and Shark Week fans–to-be, this visually arresting volume presents a good deal of information in easily digested bites.

Like others in the Block Books series, this book feels both compact and massive. When closed, it is 5.5 inches across, 6.5 inches tall, and nearly 2 inches thick, weighty and solid, with stiff cardboard pages that boast creative die cuts and numerous fold-out three- and four-panel tableaux. While it’s possible it’s not the only book with a dorsal fin, it certainly must be among the best. The multiracial cast of aquarium visitors includes a Sikh man with his kids and a man of color who uses a wheelchair; there they discover the dramatic degree of variations among sharks. The book begins with a trip to a shark exhibit, complete with a megalodon jaw. The text points out that there are over 400 known types of sharks alive today, then introduces 18 examples, including huge whale sharks, tiny pocket sharks, and stealthy, well-camouflaged wobbegongs. Reef sharks prowl the warm waters of the surface, while sand tiger sharks explore shipwrecks on the ocean floor. Bioluminescent catsharks reside at the bottom of an inky black flap that folds down, signifying the deepest ocean depths, where no sunlight penetrates. Great whites get star treatment with four consecutive two-page spreads; their teeth and appetite impress but don’t horrify. The book does a wonderful job of highlighting the interconnectedness of species and the importance of environmental stewardship.

Captivating—and not a bit terrifying. (Board book. 3-5)

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4119-7

Page Count: 84

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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