A hit for dinosaur fans in the toddler set.


From the Dino-Sports series

Dinos play ball!

In this board-book companion to Wheeler and Gott’s earlier Dino-Sports picture-book series, readers land smack-dab in the middle of an exhilarating baseball game featuring dinosaur characters. The opening pages read “Leather mitts. // Dino-bat. // Cleats on feet. // Baseball hat,” as the illustrations show a play-by-play: a Triceratops on the mound gearing up for a pitch; a hitter (a Baryonyx?) loading the bat, launching a shot, and running the bases; and two outfielders frantically returning the ball to the infield for the out. In this brisk fashion, the face-off between the herbivorous Green Sox and the carnivorous Rib-Eye Reds unfolds. There isn’t room in the brief text to depict a full nine innings, though both teams are shown playing offense and defense. At one point, Gott capitalizes on the sheer size of some dinosaurs by humorously placing what looks to be a towering Apatosaurus in the outfield. Later, this same gentle giant scores a run, delivering what some may see as an unlikely win for the plant-eating Sox. The spare, rhyming text, action-packed narrative, and colorful digital art combine for toddler-friendly fare. What could have read as an awkward switch to the past tense in one instance (“Pitcher throws. // Dino missed. // Try again. // Dino hits!”) is eased by Gott’s visual interpretation showing the baseball in the catcher’s mitt after the small dinosaur up to bat misses it.

A hit for dinosaur fans in the toddler set. (Board book. 0-3)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-72844-614-1

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Carolrhoda

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2022

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This frenetic ode to fatherhood is predictable fare but may please series fans.


From the How To Catch… series

It’s time to look for the elusive Daddysaurus.

In this latest installment in the seemingly never-ending series about a group of diverse kids attempting to trap mythical creatures, the youngsters are now on the lookout for a big mauve dinosaur with an emblazoned D on his stomach and a superhero cape. The fast-moving Daddysaurus is always on the go; he will be difficult to catch. Armed with blueprints of possible ideas, the kids decide which traps to set. As in previous works, ones of the sticky variety seem popular. They cover barbells with fly paper (Daddysaurus like to exercise) and spread glue on the handle of a shovel (Daddysaurus also likes to garden). One clever trick involves tempting Daddysaurus with a drawing of a hole, taped to the wall, because he fixes everything that breaks. Daddysaurus is certainly engaged in the children’s lives, not a workaholic or absent, but he does fall into some standard tropes associated with fathers. The rhyming quatrains stumble at times but for the most part bounce along. Overall, though, text and art feel somewhat formulaic and likely will tempt only devotees of the series. The final page of the book (after Daddysaurus is caught with love) has a space for readers to write a note or draw a picture of their own Daddysaurus. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

This frenetic ode to fatherhood is predictable fare but may please series fans. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-72826-618-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2023

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From award winner Telgemeier (Smile, 2010), a pitch-perfect graphic novel portrayal of a middle school musical, adroitly capturing the drama both on and offstage.

Seventh-grader Callie Marin is over-the-moon to be on stage crew again this year for Eucalyptus Middle School’s production of Moon over Mississippi. Callie's just getting over popular baseball jock and eighth-grader Greg, who crushed her when he left Callie to return to his girlfriend, Bonnie, the stuck-up star of the play. Callie's healing heart is quickly captured by Justin and Jesse Mendocino, the two very cute twins who are working on the play with her. Equally determined to make the best sets possible with a shoestring budget and to get one of the Mendocino boys to notice her, the immensely likable Callie will find this to be an extremely drama-filled experience indeed. The palpably engaging and whip-smart characterization ensures that the charisma and camaraderie run high among those working on the production. When Greg snubs Callie in the halls and misses her reference to Guys and Dolls, one of her friends assuredly tells her, "Don't worry, Cal. We’re the cool kids….He's the dork." With the clear, stylish art, the strongly appealing characters and just the right pinch of drama, this book will undoubtedly make readers stand up and cheer.

Brava!  (Graphic fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-545-32698-8

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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