Meet five different dinosaurs in this pet-carrier–shaped board book, and picture them as playmates.
Baby Diplodocus and the rest of “the dinosaur gang,” which also includes babies Triceratops, Stegosaurus, Edmontonia, and, of course, Tyrannosaurus rex, come by to play ball; give piggyback rides; thump, stomp, and splash; and camp out in a tent. There is a phonetic pronunciation guide to help caregivers and kids learn to say the name of each one. The dinosaurs are the best thing about this book. Each one is rendered in 3-D, Pixar-style graphics, with nonthreatening, anthropomorphic features and very expressive faces. While robbed of their scale and destructive majesty, these baby dinosaurs are undeniably charming. Most of the book consists of double-page set pieces featuring the dinosaurs against a two-dimensional, cartoon background, with a smattering of photorealistic balls and stuffed animals thrown in for good measure. The text is innocuous but uninspiring, and although the lines are rhymed, the meter is awkward. Words such as “super-cool” and “awesome” feel like bro-speak and needlessly pander; children of board-book age already think their caregivers are cool. Readers young and old may not necessarily recognize the die-cut cover as a pet carrier, but the handle does encourage children to carry the book around, which may promote reading.
Not a must for dinosaur purists but harmless enough. (Board book. 2-5)