Unapologetically unscientific, but a lovely way to tuck in young dinosaur fanciers everywhere.

Sweet lullabies meet prehistoric predators and plant eaters in a bedtime board book with loads of charm and color.

From the eye-catching iridescence of the tactile plates on the mother stegasaurus on the cover to the gentle, nursery-rhyme lilt of each dinosaur vignette, this book is a pleasant surprise on many levels. Presented in double-page tableaux pairing a stanza of text with richly colorful and delightfully expressive images of adult-child dinosaur pairs, this book maintains a winning tone throughout. Less a book about dinosaurs than a restful celebration of familial bedtime bonding, it succeeds on sincerity and the natural fascination kids have for dinosaurs. “Rock-a-bye, T. rex, in the treetop, / when your feet stomp, the mountains do rock. / You give a big yawn that means it’s nightfall, / so home you come, dino—claws, teeth and all.” It’s not Shakespeare, but it’s nice. Seven different dinosaur species are represented, Brachiosaurus, Brontosaurus, Allosaurus, and more, as well as Pterodactylus, all in different stages of the bedtime routine. The stylized renderings are not at all scary, and they convey very clearly the love between caregiver and child. Whether it’s hugs or snuggles, reading a bedtime book together, or encouraging young dinos to eat their greens, there’s a disarming level of blissful domesticity that should resonate well with tired would-be dinosaurs.

Unapologetically unscientific, but a lovely way to tuck in young dinosaur fanciers everywhere. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-5640-2

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020


A joyful celebration.

Families in a variety of configurations play, dance, and celebrate together.

The rhymed verse, based on a song from the Noodle Loaf children’s podcast, declares that “Families belong / Together like a puzzle / Different-sized people / One big snuggle.” The accompanying image shows an interracial couple of caregivers (one with brown skin and one pale) cuddling with a pajama-clad toddler with light brown skin and surrounded by two cats and a dog. Subsequent pages show a wide array of families with members of many different racial presentations engaging in bike and bus rides, indoor dance parties, and more. In some, readers see only one caregiver: a father or a grandparent, perhaps. One same-sex couple with two children in tow are expecting another child. Smart’s illustrations are playful and expressive, curating the most joyful moments of family life. The verse, punctuated by the word together, frequently set in oversized font, is gently inclusive at its best but may trip up readers with its irregular rhythms. The song that inspired the book can be found on the Noodle Loaf website.

A joyful celebration. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-22276-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Rise x Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Nov. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2020


From the My First Touch and Feel Sound Book series

Young dino fans will enjoy it, though their grown-ups may not.

What sounds did dinosaurs make? We don't really know.

Litton suggests some possibilities while introducing sophisticated vocabulary in a board-book format. Five dinosaurs are featured: Tyrannosaurus rex, Stegosaurus, Pterodactyl, Diplodocus, and Triceratops. For each species there is a brief description that highlights its distinctive features, followed by an invitation to hear and repeat the dinosaur's sound. There is no explanation for why scientists think T. Rex “roared,” Stegosaurus “howled,” Pterodactyl “screeched,” Diplodocus “growled,” or Triceratops “grunted.” The author tries to avoid sexism, carefully referring to two of the creatures as “she,” but those two are also described in stereotypically less-ferocious terms than the male dinos. The touch point on the Pterodactyl is a soft section of wing. Readers are told that Diplodocus “loved splashing in swamps,” and the instruction is to “tickle her tummy to hear her growl,” implying that this giant creature was gentle and friendly. None of this may matter to young paleontologists, who will enjoy finding the tactile section on each creature that triggers the sound. Despite extensive directions in small print, most parents and libraries won't bother to change the battery secured by a tiny hex screw, but while the battery lasts, the book will get lots of play.

Young dino fans will enjoy it, though their grown-ups may not. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-58925-207-3

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Aug. 4, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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