Though the ancient Greeks hadn’t yet invented the Olympics, this is what they might have looked like had the dinosaurs participated in the contests.
Once every 1,000 years the Prehistoric Games are held, and the events are largely those of the Summer Games—running, gymnastics, volleyball, basketball, wrestling—with one addition: herbivore vs. carnivore dodgeball. Spot-on rhyming verses describe the action, though the vocabulary may cause some younger readers to miss out on the humor and/or meaning: “T. Rex is prone and puffing hard, / with arms too short and weak. / Raptors dash around the track, / racing cheek to cheek.” (The illustration may help in this case.) There are some issues, however, between the text and the artwork: some do not agree—“Teenage allosaurs pump up / with sets of barbell curls” shows a single dinosaur, for instance—and readers will wish the pictures better reflected the verses. The anthropomorphized dinos wear clothing, but their expressions are wooden and unexpressive, and compositions are often far from dynamic, making these games less exciting than they might have been. Members of the press, with notepads and cameras, are prominent in the brightly colored illustrations.
For athletic dino action, stick with the Dino-Sports series by Lisa Wheeler and Barry Gott. (glossary, pronunciation guide) (Picture book. 4-7)