DINOSAURS!

Melodrama is the name of the game in this tall-format browsing item. With jaw-dropping precision, a dozen specialist illustrators depict scaled, spotted, crested, feathered, but mainly toothy, predators attacking similarly decorated prey, prowling alertly, or ominously, just seeming to catch sight of the viewer. Like the art, the text incorporates recent discoveries and theories, though its brevity makes for repetitiveness; an assertion that Velociraptor could “bite off huge chunks of meat at a time” needs rephrasing;, and not every prehistoric critter shown is identified. Considering the violence in nearly every scene, there is surprisingly little blood, but strict realism is not what this is about. Dinosaur and monster fans may be left wide-eyed, but they'll find more to chew over in Dougal Dixon’s Amazing Dinosaurs (p. 128). (Web sites, chart of groups, index) (Nonfiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: May 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-689-83276-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2000

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Reads like a grown-up’s over-the-top effort to peddle a set of kid-friendly premises—a notion that worked for the author’s...

THE CHRISTMASAURUS

A boy asks Santa for a dinosaur and gets a life-changing experience.

Cribbing freely from any number of classic Christmas stories and films, musician/vlogger Fletcher places his 10-year-old protagonist, William, who uses a wheelchair, at the head of an all-white human cast that features his widowed dad, a girl bully, and a maniacal hunter—plus a dinosaur newly hatched from an egg discovered in the North Pole’s ice by Santa’s elves. Having stowed away on Santa’s sleigh, Christmasaurus meets and bonds with William on Christmas Eve, then, fueled by the power of a child’s belief, flies the lad to the North Pole (“It’s somewhere between Imagination and Make-Believe”) for a meeting with the jolly toymaker himself. Upon his return William gets to see the hunter (who turns out to be his uncle) gun down his dad (who survives), blast a plush dinosaur toy to bits, and then with a poster-sized “CRUNCH! GULP!” go down Christmasaurus’ hatch. In the meantime (emphasis on “mean”), after William spots his previously vicious tormenter, Brenda Payne, crying in the bushes, he forgives trespasses that in real life would have had her arrested and confined long ago. Seemingly just for laffs, the author tosses in doggerel-speaking elves (“ ‘If it’s a girl, can we call her Ginny?’ / ‘I think it’s a boy! Look, he’s got a thingy!’ ”) and closes with further lyrics and a list of 10 (secular) things to love about Christmas. Devries adds sugary illustrations or spot art to nearly every spread.

Reads like a grown-up’s over-the-top effort to peddle a set of kid-friendly premises—a notion that worked for the author’s The Dinosaur That Pooped a Planet (2017), but not here. (Fantasy. 9-11)

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-7330-4

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

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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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