“Think about Velociraptor when you see birds run across the grass.” But look elsewhere for visuals that are out of the...

LET'S TALK ABOUT DINOSAURS

A colorful gallery of dinos and their relatives, made from paint-sprayed paper collage and paired to questions and comments in large type.

Originally published overseas as Big Noisy Book of Dinosaurs (2009), this version features rearranged illustrations and an abridged text that, for all its short, simple sentences, is still well-stocked with mouth-filling monikers. "Mamenchiasaurus was a huge plant eater.” “Carcharodontosaurus was a giant meat eater.” “Eoraptor was about the same size as a child like you.” The information is all standard-issue. Along with accurately indicating that pterosaurs and certain sea creatures were reptiles but not true dinosaurs, the author provides requisite explanations of how dinosaurs went extinct, how some became fossils, and how some had birdlike characteristics. The art just comes along for the ride. Colors look dull, animals occasionally look at one another but seldom interact, and poses are nearly all side views. There is little to no sense of scale. An image of Eoraptor is larger than the Brachiosaurus on the opposite page, a pile of poop nearly rivals an adjacent Diplodocus for bulk, and because Teckentrup (or the designer) fits multiple full or near-full bodies on each spread at various removes and with little detail, the giant dinos often don’t look all that big.

“Think about Velociraptor when you see birds run across the grass.” But look elsewhere for visuals that are out of the ordinary. (Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-910126-52-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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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

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Tried and true, both in content and formula.

HOW DO DINOSAURS SAY GOODBYE?

From the How Do Dinosaurs…? series

Parting—of the temporary rather than permanent kind—is the latest topic to be dino-sorted in this venerable series’ 14th outing.

Nobody dies and the series is showing no signs of flagging, so reading anything ominous into the title is overthinking it. Instead, Teague and Yolen once again treat readers to a succession of outsized, gaily patterned dinosaurs throwing tantrums or acting out, this time as dad packs up for a business trip or even just sets off to work, grandparents pause at the door for goodbyes, mom drops her offspring off at school on a first day, parents take a date night, or a moving van pulls up to the house. Per series formula, the tone switches partway through when bad behavior gives way to (suggested) better: “They tell all the grown-ups / just how they are feeling. / It helps right away / for fast dinosaur healing.” Hugs, kisses, and a paper heart might also be more constructive responses than weeping, clinging, and making mayhem. Dinosaurian pronouns mostly alternate between he and she until switching to the generic their in the last part. In the art, the human cast mixes figures with different racial presentations and the date-night parents are an interracial couple, but there is no evident sign of same-gender or other nonnormative domestic situations.

Tried and true, both in content and formula. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 28, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-338-36335-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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