Is there room for one more piratical dinosaur tale on the seven seas? There be!
It takes daring to traverse the ocean waves. As Capt. Rex and his dinosaur pirates three (a pterosaur, a sauropod, and a ceratopsid) search for buried treasure, they are beset by toothy megalodons, thick fog, and volcanoes. However, each time his crew declares they cannot do something, the captain glares with teeth bared and murmurs, “Can’t ye?” That kind of motivation can’t be denied, and the dinos go out of their way to think of clever solutions to their seemingly insurmountable obstacles. At last the treasure is uncovered, but when the captain fails to share it takes a carefully placed “CAN’T YE?” from his crew to convince him of what’s right. With his emphasis on invention over brute force, Herz eloquently models positive attitudes for young readers. Less chompy than the text, Schipper’s art repeatedly softens the storyline. For example, rather than glare with teeth bared as the text suggests, the illustrations portray Rex smiling knowledgeably as his crew puzzles through their problems. The book contains an author’s note of defined piratical terms, only a smidgen of which appear in the actual text.
The dinosaurs may be extinct but let’s hope dinosaur pirates keep on sailing for arr-ternity. (Picture book. 4-7)