For a more child-friendly romp through the library, try No T. Rex in the Library by Toni Buzzeo, illustrated by Sachiko...



As an introduction to the library, the book's plot runs long and sometimes misses the intended audience.

In this loose companion to Can I Bring My Pterodactyl to School, Ms. Johnson? (2006), a child begs to bring his friend Woolly (mammoth) into the library. His refrain: “Can I bring Woolly to the library, Ms. Reeder? Can I? PLEASE?!” Unfortunately, Ms. Reeder never has an opportunity to respond or encourage the child to use the word “may.” Instead, the boy lists the things Woolly might do in the library, from practicing his letters to getting a library card and participating in Story Hour. Imaginative scenarios depicting Woolly learning that he may not bellow in the library or thump around do not mask the didactic text. At least one comment—“being read to will help Woolly with his reading, too”—is clearly aimed at adults. Animated spreads illustrating Woolly tackling library tasks will tickle youngsters, but, in a questionable scene they will not understand, Woolly shakes down a patron for fines. Readers will sigh with relief when the boy announces that Woolly will not be visiting the library after all, only to turn the page to hear the child ask, “Can I bring Saber to the library, Ms. Reeder? Can I? PLEASE?!” 

For a more child-friendly romp through the library, try No T. Rex in the Library by Toni Buzzeo, illustrated by Sachiko Yoshikawa (2010). (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-58089-281-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: Nov. 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2011

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


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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Iguano-don’t bother.


From the Iggy Iguanadon series

A little dinosaur navigates friendships and new foods in this early reader.

In “Playtime,” the first of this volume’s two stories, Mama tells Iggy that he’s to have a play date with Murka Macrosaur. Iggy’s afraid that she’ll be into girly things like princesses, but instead the two try a variety of different outdoor activities before settling on a ring toss that utilizes Triceratops Murka’s pointy nose. “Mealtime” sees Iggy eyeing a dinner of ferns with great suspicion. He’d much rather eat flowers, but even after Papa says he can’t have them until he tries his ferns, it takes Grandpa’s subtle intervention to convince the young dino to attempt something new. An opening key ranks the text as Level 2, defined as “Reading With Help.” With such words as Iguanodon, tagalong, Macrosaur, and triceratops on the first nine pages alone, that help will be sorely needed, especially for young readers who don’t already know their dinosaur names. Elegant writing does not mitigate this problem (“But Murka gets stuck in somersaults, the same as all triceratops”). Meanwhile, cumbersome, inexpressive art does little to distract from the text, and the absence of outlines around the uniformly green dinos makes compositions where bodies overlap particularly confusing. Finally, this may be set in the Cretaceous, but what really feels ancient are elements like an apron-wearing mom, a father as disciplinarian, and a grandfather who smokes a pipe. Companion title Bath Time & Bedtime publishes simultaneously.

Iguano-don’t bother. (Early reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-8075-3642-1

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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