Though the rhymes are rather weak, this book does encourage pretend play, the backmatter is enlightening, and the diversity...

DINOSAUR RAP

On the tail of the Rappy the Raptor books, by Dan Gutman and illustrated by Tim Bowers (2015, etc.), comes this rapping, participatory look at the dinos that lived long ago.

“Come on everybody, shake a claw. / Let me hear you bellow. Let me hear you ROAR! / Let me see you jump and thump and tap. / Come and join in! Do the dinosaur rap!” This repeated refrain is illustrated with seven children who have cleverly dressed themselves to look like their favorite dinos. On subsequent pages, each child takes a turn introducing a dino and prompting readers to copy their actions: “There’s a Saltopus strutting, swaying to the beat, / Hopping and bopping and tapping his feet. / Tap your feet!” Other species include Shonisaurus, Apatosaurus, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Pteranodon, and Tyrannosaurus rex. The rhymes are nothing to write home about, but Harter’s artwork uses vivid colors and patterns that pop off the pages. Her cartoonish dinos may not seem particularly realistic, but they are easy for youngsters to match with their own clothing and props. Harter’s children are notably diverse in many ways: only two are white, one sports glasses, another uses hearing aids, and a third uses a frame walker. Backmatter includes a paragraph about each species, a timeline and info about the eras of the dinosaurs, and blurbs about what happened to the dinos and how paleontologists learn about them.

Though the rhymes are rather weak, this book does encourage pretend play, the backmatter is enlightening, and the diversity is refreshing. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-78285-301-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Barefoot Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 17, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2016

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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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A snore for all but the most avid toddler paleontologists.

NIGHT NIGHT, DINO-SNORES

After busy days spent doing what dinos do, nine colorful dinosaurs happily bed down for the night protected by a loving adult dino.

Each sleepy dinosaur inhabits a fanciful environment, though it is unclear whether they are based on known information about where dinosaurs lived. There is nothing ferocious or threatening about these dinosaurs. Nor are they likely to excite young paleontologists, as the purpose of the book is to convince young children to go to sleep, just like each of the dinosaurs. The singsong-y verses don’t really work as poetry. Uneven meter makes for an awkward read-aloud experience, and forced rhymes (“Mom” and “calm”; “leaves” and “trees”) are a bit of a stretch. Similarly, touch-and-feel elements added to one of the dinosaurs on each spread feel arbitrary and are more distraction than successful additions. Even toddlers will wonder why only one of each set of dinosaurs has this tactile element. Each spread ends with a “Good night” followed by an alliterative nickname: “Dozing Diplos”; “Resting Raptors”; “Tiny Pteros”; “Snoozing Spinos.” This affectation will turn off adults with a low tolerance for cute and potentially confuse readers just beginning to learn dinosaur names.

A snore for all but the most avid toddler paleontologists. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-680105-48-3

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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