An excellent complement to any dinosaur-book collection, this enriches and extends that interest.

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HOW THE DINOSAUR GOT TO THE MUSEUM

This cumulative narrative follows the journey of a set of dinosaur bones belonging to a Diplodocus longus that lived 145 million years ago to its present home in the display halls of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC.

A companion to How the Sphinx Got to the Museum (2010), it similarly describes the work of many hands involved, here starting with the dinosaur hunter who discovered the bones and the paleontologist who went to Utah to identify them and culminating with the museum director who opened the exhibit. What’s special is the reminder of the wide range of tasks involved. The excavators, movers, preparators, curator, night watchman, welders, riggers, exhibits team and cleaner all have their parts. Hartland emphasizes this with her House-That-Jack-Built text, in which each job title has a special capital-letter font, color and background ("CLEANERS" is shown on a scrubbing-brush background, for instance). Her verbs are interestingly varied, as are the many things these people do. The text is printed on double-page illustrations, painted in a childlike manner but detailed enough to show all the people and activities. Backmatter includes a bit of dinosaur information and more about the actual discovery and the display at the museum, including some suggested websites.

An excellent complement to any dinosaur-book collection, this enriches and extends that interest. (Informational picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-60905-090-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Blue Apple

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2011

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LULU AND THE BRONTOSAURUS

Viorst, better known within the children's-book world for picture books than novels, flexes her muscles and introduces readers to delightfully obnoxious, fit-throwing Lulu, a spoiled only child prone to indulging in over-the-top temper tantrums to get what she wants. And what she wants now is a brontosaurus for her birthday. Her long-suffering parents finally put their collective feet down and refuse. Lulu’s antics do no good this time, so she heads into the woods to find a dinosaur herself. In short chapters interspersed with funny narrative asides and whimsical black-and-white illustrations, readers follow Lulu as she heads into the woods, faces off with some ferocious animals and finally finds the brontosaurus, who decides he’d rather have Lulu as his pet than be hers! Lulu won’t survive this adventure without some serious changes in her behavior. Dinosaurs, it turns out, are fond of good manners. The glib narrator provides not one but three endings for readers to choose from. Even so, they still won’t have had enough of Lulu. Pitch perfect for the beginning chapter-book crowd. (Fiction. 6-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4169-9961-4

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2010

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A crisp historical vignette.

BEN'S REVOLUTION

BENJAMIN RUSSELL AND THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL

A boy experiences the Boston Tea Party, the response to the Intolerable Acts, and the battle at Breed’s Hill in Charlestown.

Philbrick has taken his Bunker Hill (2013), pulled from its 400 pages the pivotal moments, added a 12-year-old white boy—Benjamin Russell—as the pivot, and crafted a tale of what might have happened to him during those days of unrest in Boston from 1773 to 1775 (Russell was a real person). Philbrick explains, in plainspoken but gradually accelerating language, the tea tax, the Boston Tea Party, the Intolerable Acts, and the quartering of troops in Boston as well as the institution of a military government. Into this ferment, he introduces Benjamin Russell, where he went to school, his part-time apprenticeship at Isaiah Thomas’ newspaper, sledding down Beacon Hill, and the British officer who cleaned the cinders from the snow so the boys could sled farther and farther. It is these humanizing touches that make war its own intolerable act. Readers see Benjamin, courtesy of Minor’s misty gouache-and-watercolor tableaux, as he becomes stranded outside Boston Neck and becomes a clerk for the patriots. Significant characters are introduced, as is the geography of pre-landfilled Boston, to gain a good sense of why certain actions took place where they did. The final encounter at Breed’s Hill demonstrates how a battle can be won by retreating.

A crisp historical vignette. (maps, author’s note, illustrator’s note) (Historical fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: May 23, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-399-16674-7

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 14, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2017

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