It is nearly impossible to look at without reading aloud, chanting aloud, and even tapping and stamping and sliding: extreme...

I'M A DIRTY DINOSAUR

This Australian import cries out for toddler participation, with parts for everyone.

The little dinosaur—an outline sketch of a creature drawn with multicolored pencil—rejoices in total mudlusciousness with a vigorous chant. “I’m a dirty dinosaur / with a dirty face. // I never have a wash / I just shake about the place.” The winsome background to the dinosaur’s antics is painted with watercolor and smeared and splattered with actual mud. Opposite, in bold print with each letter a different color, is the refrain: “SHAKE, SHAKE, / SHAKE, SHAKE, / SHAKE ABOUT / THE PLACE!” The dinosaur goes on to mention a “dirty tum,” which it taps like a drum: “TAP, TAP,” etc. There is also stamping about the street with dirty feet and sliding that dirty tail “like a snail.” At the end, in deep realization of its yuckiness, the dinosaur decides to go to the swamp and “GIVE MYSELF A WASH!” Birds, flowers, dragonflies and a frog or two accompany the protagonist, who walks (dances, really) on two legs and sports little stegosauruslike spine plates and a belly button.

It is nearly impossible to look at without reading aloud, chanting aloud, and even tapping and stamping and sliding: extreme joyousness. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-61067-296-2

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2014

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A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

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BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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A culturally intricate slice of a lupine courier’s life.

¡VAMOS! LET'S GO TO THE MARKET

From the ¡Vamos! series

Little Lobo and his dog, Bernabé, journey through a Mexican mercado delivering diverse goods to a variety of booths.

With the aid of red words splattered throughout the spreads as labels, Raúl the Third gives an introduction to Spanish vocabulary as Little Lobo, an anthropomorphic wolf, leaves his house, fills his cart with objects from his warehouse, and delivers them to the market’s vendors. The journey also serves as a crash course in Mexican culture, as the images are packed with intertextual details such as food, traditional games, and characters, including Cantinflas, Frida Khalo, and Juan Gabriel. Readers acquainted with Raúl the Third’s characters from his Lowriders series with author Cathy Camper will appreciate cameos from familiar characters. As he makes his rounds, Little Lobo also collects different artifacts that people offer in exchange for his deliveries of shoe polish, clothespins, wood, tissue paper, paintbrushes, and a pair of golden laces. Although Raúl the Third departs from the ball-pen illustrations that he is known for, his depiction of creatures and critters peppering the borderland where his stories are set remains in his trademark style. The softer hues in the illustrations (chosen by colorist Bay) keep the busy compositions friendly, and the halftone patterns filling the illustrations create foregrounds and backgrounds reminiscent of Roy Lichtenstein’s pointillism.

A culturally intricate slice of a lupine courier’s life. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-55726-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Versify/HMH

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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