Fill your storytime with prehistoric sound.



Triceratops babies have an eventful day after first hatching.

Tucked away on the forest floor is a clutch of eggs. Readers can see tiny cracks beginning to form. Sounds jostle from the pages: “Tap-tap. Peck-peck. Crack. Crack. Crack.” After some picking and poking, out tumble triceratops babies! They “wriggle-wriggle” and “S-T-R-E-T-C-H” as they gain their footing and look at the world around them for the first time. What do these babies want to do? Eat, of course! “Chomp-chomp. Munch-munch. Gulp-gulp-gulp.” But suddenly, a loud “ROARRR!” interrupts their meal. A T. Rex is coming. “Thud-thud. Thud-thud. Stomp. Stomp. Stomp.” The tiny babies don’t know what to do. Luckily, their mother is close by. Never underestimate the protective nature of a mother, even a reptilian one. The layered greens and muted browns of the digital background highlight the tiny red mouths of the babies, who are continuously crying, biting, or yawning—and making a whole lot of noise. Although the dinosaur sounds may be hypothetical (Would they “cheep?” Did they “bellowww?”), dino fans will delight in this onomatopoeic romp. Extra information about other dinosaurs found throughout the story is appended at the end.

Fill your storytime with prehistoric sound. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: July 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-77278-079-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Pajama Press

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2019

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Little Blue’s fans will enjoy the animal sounds and counting opportunities, but it’s the sparkling lights on the truck’s own...


The sturdy Little Blue Truck is back for his third adventure, this time delivering Christmas trees to his band of animal pals.

The truck is decked out for the season with a Christmas wreath that suggests a nose between headlights acting as eyeballs. Little Blue loads up with trees at Toad’s Trees, where five trees are marked with numbered tags. These five trees are counted and arithmetically manipulated in various ways throughout the rhyming story as they are dropped off one by one to Little Blue’s friends. The final tree is reserved for the truck’s own use at his garage home, where he is welcomed back by the tree salestoad in a neatly circular fashion. The last tree is already decorated, and Little Blue gets a surprise along with readers, as tiny lights embedded in the illustrations sparkle for a few seconds when the last page is turned. Though it’s a gimmick, it’s a pleasant surprise, and it fits with the retro atmosphere of the snowy country scenes. The short, rhyming text is accented with colored highlights, red for the animal sounds and bright green for the numerical words in the Christmas-tree countdown.

Little Blue’s fans will enjoy the animal sounds and counting opportunities, but it’s the sparkling lights on the truck’s own tree that will put a twinkle in a toddler’s eyes. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 23, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-544-32041-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.


A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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