Whimsical, imaginative, and highly entertaining.

ROCK MAMMOTH

Louis’ class report on his favorite pet surprises everyone.

Enthusiastically launching his presentation on Mammuthus rockus, the rock mammoth, Louis provides background on prehistoric mammoths, digressing to the Icelandic researcher Voïvoden Mamouten, who discovered the species. Telling his classmates rock mammoths disappeared mysteriously, he goes into a lengthy definition of what constitutes a mystery and a hypothesis, frustrating his teacher, who urges him to get back to his report. Louis then reviews various hypotheses on why rock mammoths disappeared, culminating with his own that they simply went into hiding. Explaining he’s read every library book on mammoths and including a selected bibliography, Louis describes in detail his scientific expedition in search of a rock mammoth. Recess comes and goes, with the class amazed and teacher incredulous. When Louis finally announces his discovery, the teacher demands proof. Does Louis have a real rock mammoth or just a great imagination? While the amusing text offers scientific data about mammoths as well as a playful introduction to the scientific method, Mammuthus rockus appears to be a phantom species. Using the format of a school notebook containing Louis’ hilarious marginal notes and diagrams reinforces the classroom venue and enhances the comic visual presentation of unflappable Louis and his very cool rock mammoth.

Whimsical, imaginative, and highly entertaining. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4598-2426-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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Adventures and misadventures, Old West style—but with dinos.

HOW TO TAME A TRICERATOPS

From the Dino Riders series , Vol. 1

Young Josh needs to up his ride if he’s going to win the Trihorn settlement’s 100th-anniversary Founders’ Day race and meet his hero, Terrordactyl Bill.

Set on the Lost Plains, where ranchers tend to herds of iguanodons, and horses (if there were any) would be easy pickings for the local predators, this series kickoff pits a brash lad and sidekick and schoolmates Sam and Abi against not only the requisite bully, but such fiercer adversaries as attacking pterodactyls. Josh’s first challenge after eagerly entering the race is finding a faster, nimbler steed than his steady but old gallimimus, Plodder. Along comes Charge—an aptly named, if not-quite-fully-trained triceratops with speed, brains, and, it turns out, a streak of loyalty that saves Josh’s bacon both here and in a simultaneously publishing sequel, How To Rope a Giganotosaurus, which prominently features T. Rex’s much larger cousin. Dare adds a map, as well as spot illustrations of rural Western types (Josh and Abi are white, Sam has dark skin and tightly curled hair) astride toothy, brightly patterned dinos. In both adventures Josh weathers regular encounters with dinosaur dung, snot, and gas as well as threats to life and limb to show up the aforementioned bully and emerge a hero.

Adventures and misadventures, Old West style—but with dinos. (Fantasy. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4926-4668-6

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017

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A sparkling showcase with plenty to offer both art lovers and dinophiles.

EXPRESS DELIVERY FROM DINOSAUR WORLD

A surrealistic vision of the Cretaceous Era, with visual puzzles for intrepid explorers to solve and surprises hidden under flaps.

Printed on creamy stock and linked by a tenuous plotline—a young woman named Dongdong, a student at a Beijing art school, receives a mysterious album from the past and falls in—the 10 gamelike “Adventures” challenge viewers on a variety of fronts. First they must traverse a thick “Forest of Illusion” and a difficult maze, then spot a cleverly hidden pterosaur in a canyon packed with dinos before moving on to other challenges, and finally escape a dark cave (printed on acetate sheets) with the help of a detachable “flashlight.” Along with depicting dozens of realistically detailed dinosaurs, Dong takes several side ventures into free-association territory, as in one spread with 18 different “eggs” whose contents, revealed by lifting flaps, range from fanciful monsters to dino-themed clouds, carvings, and pastries. Following two more pages of “egg” flaps at the end that pay droll stylistic tribute to René Magritte, Salvador Dali, Damien Hirst, Yayoi Kusama, and other modern artists, an attached booklet offers subtle visual keys to each Adventure.

A sparkling showcase with plenty to offer both art lovers and dinophiles. (Picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-945295-00-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candied Plums

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2017

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