Fun, accessible Jurassic jargon and hijinks.

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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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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Young dino fans will enjoy it, though their grown-ups may not.

NOISY DINOSAURS

From the My First Touch and Feel Sound Book series

What sounds did dinosaurs make? We don't really know.

Litton suggests some possibilities while introducing sophisticated vocabulary in a board-book format. Five dinosaurs are featured: Tyrannosaurus rex, Stegosaurus, Pterodactyl, Diplodocus, and Triceratops. For each species there is a brief description that highlights its distinctive features, followed by an invitation to hear and repeat the dinosaur's sound. There is no explanation for why scientists think T. Rex “roared,” Stegosaurus “howled,” Pterodactyl “screeched,” Diplodocus “growled,” or Triceratops “grunted.” The author tries to avoid sexism, carefully referring to two of the creatures as “she,” but those two are also described in stereotypically less-ferocious terms than the male dinos. The touch point on the Pterodactyl is a soft section of wing. Readers are told that Diplodocus “loved splashing in swamps,” and the instruction is to “tickle her tummy to hear her growl,” implying that this giant creature was gentle and friendly. None of this may matter to young paleontologists, who will enjoy finding the tactile section on each creature that triggers the sound. Despite extensive directions in small print, most parents and libraries won't bother to change the battery secured by a tiny hex screw, but while the battery lasts, the book will get lots of play.

Young dino fans will enjoy it, though their grown-ups may not. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-58925-207-3

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Aug. 5, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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