A cute concept with illustrations to match, despite the disconnect between the simple story and the complex second half.

READ REVIEW

When Dinosaurs go Dancing

 Two paleontologists theorize that fossilized footprints are leftovers from a prehistoric dinosaur dance party in this children’s picture book.

In Cook’s debut, the first in a planned series called Listen to the Bones, dinosaurs waltz, tango, and shuffle. Instead of running from predators or migrating across lands, they time-step, double pirouette, and bunny hop. They wear top hats and bow ties, flowers on their heads, and decorations on their tails. They’re very polite about it all—at charity balls, they nod and bow—and they’re graceful, too, as they sway gently under the moonlight. After 22 pages of simple prose and full-page illustrations, however, the book switches gears and becomes a “learning centre” with explanatory paragraphs about the various dances and dinosaurs in the preceding story. There are facts about fossil collections around the world and famous paleontologists as well as other lessons for young readers: the book tells of the young 18th-century fossil collector Mary Anning and points out that “Earth is the only home we have, so let’s take care of it!” Nadeau’s illustrations, which include a ferocious Tyrannosaurus rex in a pink tutu, are colorful, clever treats, and the whimsical, sometimes-diagonal typesetting is also a lot of fun. The rhyming prose in the book’s first half is simple, exuberant, and suitable for toddlers and early grade schoolers alike. The second half, however, is more appropriate for older children, as the descriptions of dances (the waltz is “performed to music in 3/4 time,” while the minuet is a “stately dance, elegant in its simplicity”) and historical terminology clash with the earlier, more basic language. As a result, young readers will likely enjoy one half of the book more than the other.

A cute concept with illustrations to match, despite the disconnect between the simple story and the complex second half. 

Pub Date: Aug. 19, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4602-7725-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: Oct. 2, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • New York Times Bestseller

BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

LAST DAY BLUES

From the Mrs. Hartwell's Classroom Adventures series

One more myth dispelled for all the students who believe that their teachers live in their classrooms. During the last week of school, Mrs. Hartwell and her students reflect on the things they will miss, while also looking forward to the fun that summer will bring. The kids want to cheer up their teacher, whom they imagine will be crying over lesson plans and missing them all summer long. But what gift will cheer her up? Numerous ideas are rejected, until Eddie comes up with the perfect plan. They all cooperate to create a rhyming ode to the school year and their teacher. Love’s renderings of the children are realistic, portraying the diversity of modern-day classrooms, from dress and expression to gender and skin color. She perfectly captures the emotional trauma the students imagine their teachers will go through as they leave for the summer. Her final illustration hysterically shatters that myth, and will have every teacher cheering aloud. What a perfect end to the school year. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2006

ISBN: 1-58089-046-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more