Two poems, a finger-puppet project and a foldout mini-story fail to compensate for undistinguished art and a cursory sprinkling of dino-facts in this Dutch import.
The book begins by uninformatively noting that dinosaurs lived “a very, very, very long time ago” and takes more pains to bring up dino-dung and related topics (“Did the huge Diplodocus let out loud farts? What do you think?”) than to explore what fossilization is or how dinosaurs may have gone extinct. The author scatters unrelated facts and vague generalizations over drably colored prehistoric scenes populated by cartoonish creatures in static poses. Likewise undistinguished, the poems are prosaic (at least in their English translations), the puppet instructions are hard to follow, and a closing quiz features badly phrased questions like, “How does the dinosaur investigator clean skeleton bones?” And the mini-story is as focused on excrement and elimination as the main text.
A non-starter, despite the subject’s ever-enduring allure. (Informational picture book. 6-8)