Fun, accessible Jurassic jargon and hijinks.

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HELLO DINOSAURS!

From the Hello…! series

A group of smiling dinosaurs chases after some runaway eggs while modeling some of the traits that make our prehistoric predecessors so fascinating to toddlers.

Though at first glance this resembles any number of other dinosaur-themed board books, there’s a lot to like here. The artwork makes no attempt at realism, but the bright hues and vibrant personalities of the dinosaurs are eye-catching and fun. The text has an engaging, simple cadence: “Hello dinosaurs / Hello eggs / Hello GIANT stomping legs,” etc. The plot, such as it is, is uncomplicated: A group of inquisitive dinosaurs pokes and prods at some eggs in a nest, accidentally sending them rolling down a hill. Their pursuit of the eggs becomes a vehicle for comparing different modes of dinosaur locomotion; other comparisons made include diets, size, teeth, and protective features (think claws, plates, tails, and horns). The book conveys a surprising amount of information in terms that kids will easily understand: “Carnivores snag a treat / on the go they gobble meat. / Herbivores grab plants to munch / Omnivores grab both for lunch.” After the eggs safely come to a complete stop, the pages fold open on both recto and verso into a double-gatefold panorama wherein 21 types of dinosaurs are named. The proceedings conclude with the hatching of three adorable baby dinosaurs.

Fun, accessible Jurassic jargon and hijinks. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-1870-7

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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This will have readers putting on their dancing shoes to do the “cha cha cha” with their dino-babies

DINOSAUR DANCE!

It's not the first time dinosaurs have been featured in a clever Boynton board book. It seems she—and we—can't get enough.

As her fans know, Boynton has a sly wit that respects the intelligence of her young fans and amuses the adults asked to “read it again.” In this book she introduces nine dinosaurs, each of which dances in a way that seems totally appropriate for that particular species. “The blue Stegosaurus goes SHIMMY SHIMMY SHAKE. / The red Brontosaurus goes QUIVERY QUAKE.” Drawing on her experience as a children’s musician, she writes a text that trips along like a song with rhymes that make sense but don't intrude. The illustrations, typical Boynton, reflect her greeting-card background. They are cartoonish but manage to capture the unique personality of each creature. The unnamed dinosaur narrator looks genuinely distraught at not being able to name the “tiny little dino” that “goes DEEDLY DEE.” Spoiler alert: the tiny little dinosaur is probably Compsognathus and would be about the size of a small chicken. Young dinophiles would be impressed if the dinosaurologists in their lives could supply that factoid, but alas, they will have to look it up.

This will have readers putting on their dancing shoes to do the “cha cha cha” with their dino-babies . (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-8099-4

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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While the ghoulies here are more cute than scary, “jump,” “quiver,” and “run” will probably get across the idea to even the...

HALLOWEEN ABC

An abecedary of spooky or autumnal delights for the littlest readers.

Each letter of the alphabet is highlighted on a single page, the upper- and lowercase letters appearing in the upper left-hand corner, while the object is named at the bottom or in the upper right. Ho keeps her illustrations simple and places them against plain, brightly colored backgrounds, keeping them accessible to those still learning about Halloween’s many icons. The almost-fluorescent orange cover is sure to attract attention, and the palette of black, purple, orange, yellow, and radioactive green enhances the Halloween mood. But while many of the chosen items will be expected—bats, ghost, haunted house, owl, skeleton, vampire, witch, zombie—others are rather odd choices. J is for “jump,” not jack-o’-lantern (“pumpkin” is illustrated with a jack-o’-lantern); K is for a mostly black “kitten” standing in a coffin; and N is for “nightmare,” which is virtually impossible to express visually for this age group without provoking said nightmare. Here, a lavender-skinned child (zombie?) in pajamas and nightcap has arms raised and mouth open wide in surprise—perhaps in response to the mummy across the gutter? The tough letters use “quiver,” spider-decorated “underpants” on a monster, and “extra treats,” the x underlined.

While the ghoulies here are more cute than scary, “jump,” “quiver,” and “run” will probably get across the idea to even the youngest listeners that Halloween can be scary. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9527-9

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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