Nothing terribly special, but an energetic acknowledgment of the passion most tykes feel about these long-gone prehistoric...

WE LOVE DINOSAURS

Is there a child out there who doesn’t love dinosaurs?

Very young readers will thrill to the sight of these smiling, roly-poly, brightly colored dinosaurs of various kinds, painted in watercolors to resemble reassuringly friendly, beloved toys. With no pretense at verisimilitude or much educational enlightenment, 15 different species are depicted and labeled on the front and back endpapers, giving tiny dino lovers a very rough idea of what the creatures shown in the book probably looked like (with artistic license for the colors), the art differentiating among them to show off scientifically known attributes such as relative sizes, crests, horns, spikes, and so on. Told in very simple, rollicking verse, the text encourages vocabulary enrichment and also lends itself to animated reading, abetted by the sometimes-capitalized extra-large display type that’s used for important adjectives, nouns, and verbs. However, an adult will have to help children with the definition of the word “extinct,” depicted on the final spread featuring Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops skeletons and a wide-eyed white child in shorts and black child in a dress.

Nothing terribly special, but an energetic acknowledgment of the passion most tykes feel about these long-gone prehistoric animals. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: June 26, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9959-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018

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There is no real story, but the moving parts are fun, and the illustrations are beautiful.

EGGS ARE EVERYWHERE

An interactive egg hunt with turning-wheel and lift-the-flap elements.

This board book begins by directing readers to find the hidden eggs. Each wheel—there are four in all set into the interior pages—has several different eggs on it, and turning it reveals an egg in a little die-cut window. Spinning it further hides the egg behind one of two lift-the-flap panels—two baskets, for example—and readers must guess behind which they’ll find the egg they have chosen to track. A diagram on the back provides instructions for use, likely more helpful to caregivers than to little ones. There is no narrative in this book; it’s simply page after page of different directives along the lines of “Guess which door!” As a result, the focus is really on manipulatives and the illustrations. Fortunately, Kirwan’s spring-themed artwork is gorgeous. The backdrop of each page is flower- and leaf-themed with warm spring hues, echoing the artwork of Eastern European hand-stenciled Easter eggs, two of which appear at the end of the book. The animals, like the smiling snail and mischievous mice, are reminiscent of classic European fairy-tale creatures. The only human in the book is a dark-skinned child with tight, curly hair. The moveable pieces largely work, though at times the necessary white space under the flaps interrupts the illustration awkwardly, as when the child’s hands suddenly develop large oval holes if the spinner is not in the correct position. Overall, it’s more game than book.

There is no real story, but the moving parts are fun, and the illustrations are beautiful. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4521-7457-0

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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A snore for all but the most avid toddler paleontologists.

NIGHT NIGHT, DINO-SNORES

After busy days spent doing what dinos do, nine colorful dinosaurs happily bed down for the night protected by a loving adult dino.

Each sleepy dinosaur inhabits a fanciful environment, though it is unclear whether they are based on known information about where dinosaurs lived. There is nothing ferocious or threatening about these dinosaurs. Nor are they likely to excite young paleontologists, as the purpose of the book is to convince young children to go to sleep, just like each of the dinosaurs. The singsong-y verses don’t really work as poetry. Uneven meter makes for an awkward read-aloud experience, and forced rhymes (“Mom” and “calm”; “leaves” and “trees”) are a bit of a stretch. Similarly, touch-and-feel elements added to one of the dinosaurs on each spread feel arbitrary and are more distraction than successful additions. Even toddlers will wonder why only one of each set of dinosaurs has this tactile element. Each spread ends with a “Good night” followed by an alliterative nickname: “Dozing Diplos”; “Resting Raptors”; “Tiny Pteros”; “Snoozing Spinos.” This affectation will turn off adults with a low tolerance for cute and potentially confuse readers just beginning to learn dinosaur names.

A snore for all but the most avid toddler paleontologists. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-680105-48-3

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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