DINO-BASKETBALL

From the Dino-Sports series

The team that brought us Dino-Baseball, -Soccer and -Hockey (2010, 2009, 2007) this time delivers nothing but net. Once again divided by food preference, the Grassclippers take on the Meat, pitting some of the better-known dinosaurs against each other in a high-stakes game for the championship trophy. Wheeler’s staccato rhyming verse mimics both the play-by-play announcement and the action of a basketball game, making readers feel a part of the excitement. “Allo answers off the dribble. / Diplo takes it up the middle— / —T. rex charges from behind. / Steals the ball. It’s Meaty time!” (Dino and team names are in bold and color-coded: red for carnivores, green for herbivores.)  The off-court goings-on are just as accurately portrayed—cheerleaders, agitated coaches, famous spectators and some typical half-time events. Gott’s vividly colored illustrations are filled with energy—almost like sitting courtside. And just as in real life, observers may lose track of who’s who in the melee, especially if they are not up on their species. Gott does a very good job of matching his artwork to the text, making it relatively easy for those unfamiliar with basketball to guess what “free throw,” “dunk” and “taking it to the hole” might mean. Still, this is not a basketball primer. Likely to be a slam dunk with both basketball and dinosaur fans...and football enthusiasts can look forward to the teams’ next match. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7613-6393-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Carolrhoda

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2011

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Formulaic but not stale…even if it does mine previous topical material rather than expand it.

HOW DO DINOSAURS SHOW GOOD MANNERS?

From the How Do Dinosaurs…? series

A guide to better behavior—at home, on the playground, in class, and in the library.

Serving as a sort of overview for the series’ 12 previous exercises in behavior modeling, this latest outing opens with a set of badly behaving dinos, identified in an endpaper key and also inconspicuously in situ. Per series formula, these are paired to leading questions like “Does she spit out her broccoli onto the floor? / Does he shout ‘I hate meat loaf!’ while slamming the door?” (Choruses of “NO!” from young audiences are welcome.) Midway through, the tone changes (“No, dinosaurs don’t”), and good examples follow to the tune of positive declarative sentences: “They wipe up the tables and vacuum the floors. / They share all the books and they never slam doors,” etc. Teague’s customary, humongous prehistoric crew, all depicted in exact detail and with wildly flashy coloration, fill both their spreads and their human-scale scenes as their human parents—no same-sex couples but some are racially mixed, and in one the man’s the cook—join a similarly diverse set of sibs and other children in either disapprobation or approving smiles. All in all, it’s a well-tested mix of oblique and prescriptive approaches to proper behavior as well as a lighthearted way to play up the use of “please,” “thank you,” and even “I’ll help when you’re hurt.”

Formulaic but not stale…even if it does mine previous topical material rather than expand it. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-36334-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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Make space for this clever blend of science and self-realization.

A PLACE FOR PLUTO

If Pluto can’t be a planet—then what is he?

Having been a regular planet for “the better part of forever,” Pluto is understandably knocked out of orbit by his sudden exclusion. With Charon and his four other moons in tow he sets off in search of a new identity. Unfortunately, that only spins him into further gloom, as he doesn’t have a tail like his friend Halley’s comet, is too big to join Ida and the other asteroids, and feels disinclined to try to crash into Earth like meteoroids Gem and Persi. Then, just as he’s about to plunge into a black hole of despair, an encounter with a whole quartet of kindred spheroids led by Eris rocks his world…and a follow-up surprise party thrown by an apologetic Saturn (“Dwarf planet has a nice RING to it”) and the other seven former colleagues literally puts him “over the moon.” Demmer gives all the heavenly bodies big eyes (some, including the feminine Saturn, with long lashes) and, on occasion, short arms along with distinctive identifying colors or markings. Dressing the troublemaking meteoroids in do-rags and sunglasses sounds an off note. Without mentioning that the reclassification is still controversial, Wade closes with a (somewhat) straighter account of Pluto’s current official status and the reasons for it.

Make space for this clever blend of science and self-realization. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68446-004-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Capstone Young Readers

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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