New and preliterate readers will happily clap along to the incantatory rhythms of this primary-level call to “dig, dig, dig”—in both senses of the word—dino fossils.
Using repetition and rhyme, Houran comments as paleontologists carefully excavate fossils from a site, wrap them up for shipment (“So big, big, big those dinosaurs / Big, big, big those dinosaurs…”), then lay them out in a museum lab (“Jig, jig, jigsaw dinosaurs”), to be assembled (“Rig, rig, rig…”) into a display with painted backdrops and finally surrounded by a flood of admiring museumgoers. With simplified but reasonable accuracy, Marquez depicts each stage of the process in softly modeled, harmoniously colored scenes, and her crew of paleontologists is diverse in both ethnicity and gender (although, sadly, the crew supervisor is a bespectacled white man). Both author and illustrator digestibly expand on each step of the process in a closing spread.
A rousing prelude to Aliki’s more detailed dino discourses, tailor-made for reading aloud. (Informational picture book. 3-5)