A playful if incomplete twist on an ever popular theme.

READ REVIEW

HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR T-REX

“When you take good care of your T-Rex, your T-Rex will take good care of you.”

Elaborating on a notion that has been popular since Bernard Most’s If the Dinosaurs Came Back (1978), Baker offers general guidance on how to keep a dino-pet (or many other sorts) fed, clean, and well-behaved. He mixes this with observations on how a huge, toothy theropod can be an awesome teammate in various sports and drools enough to create a terrific water slide, but it is definitely a messy eater (Coverly displays a fine gift for depicting goo and slop in showing what it does to a stack of pancakes and sausage pizzas) and, considering those short arms, maybe not so good at getting a kite out of a tree. In loosely drawn cartoon scenes the illustrator tucks an inconspicuously diverse cast of small human figures—the children excited, the grown-ups mildly dismayed—around a humongous green Tyrannosaurus rex that happily trashes a suburban neighborhood before it’s time to brush, floss, climb into dino-jammies, hear a bedtime story, and snuggle down into bed to a sweet lullaby from its blond, light-skinned young caretaker. Dino-dumps aren’t the only topic left unaddressed, as this lively riff on a popular trope focuses more on the pleasures of having an outsized pet than its challenges.

A playful if incomplete twist on an ever popular theme. (additional facts) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-13751-7

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Christy Ottaviano/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Dec. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

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Gift items for confirmed young enthusiasts, with a substantial but not wearisome informational load.

DINOSAURS

From the Smithsonian Young Explorers series

In lunchbox-style packaging, a booklet of dino facts and a prehistoric panorama are presented on both a folded poster and a jigsaw puzzle.

Strother devotes 10 of her 32 pages to ornithischian, or bird-hipped, dinosaurs (correctly noting that they are not the ancestors of modern birds). She also manages to survey the Mesozoic Era in general, introduce a few theropods, describe fossilization, and present up-to-date information about dinosaur colors and extinction theories. All of this is crammed onto thematic spreads with small paintings and photos of fossils or generic images of fleshed-out reconstructions in minimally detailed settings. Francis contributes a collective portrait of dinosaurs of diverse size and period posing together over a labeled timeline. This can be hung up and, as a 130-piece jigsaw, assembled. Also available from the same author and illustrator, and likewise in a round-corned box with a carrying handle and snap close, is Oceans, a densely populated dive into the deep.

Gift items for confirmed young enthusiasts, with a substantial but not wearisome informational load. (Informational novelty. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-62686-145-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Silver Dolphin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

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A bland but amiable iteration.

THE WONDROUS DINOSAURIUM

Yet another child learns that dinosaurs make exciting, if chancy, pets.

On the prowl for a pet, Danny walks past shop windows displaying puppies and kittens to enter the titular storefront…where “Mr. Ree, purveyor of prehistoric pets,” offers him any dino he might desire. Unfortunately his first pick, Diplodocus longus, eats half a ton of veggies per day; his second, Tyrannosaurus rex (“Ooh, brave choice”), is too, well, “drooly”; and later ones—unnamed but brightly patterned, smiling, and recognizably depicted in Brown’s cartoon scenes—prove likewise impractical or unsatisfactory. (Confirmed dinophiles might be able to tag the unidentified beasts, but there is no key for paleontological newbies.) Condon works the well-worn premise to a happy resolution, as the pet Danny finally brings home in a box turns out to be not an ordinary tortoise, as his mother thinks at first sight, but a spiky-tailed, tortoiselike Meiolania from the Middle Miocene, small enough to pick up…at first, anyway. Aside from a background figure in one scene, the human cast is uniformly white. José Carlos Andrés and Ana Sanfelippo’s Adopting a Dinosaur (2019), Jason Cockcroft’s How To Take Care of Your Dinosaur (2019), and Diego Vaisberg’s Dino (2018) are but three recent examples of the superior treatments available.

A bland but amiable iteration. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: April 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-84886-474-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Maverick Publishing

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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