THE AMAZING DINOSAUR DETECTIVES

AMAZING FACTS, MYTHS AND QUIRKS OF THE DINOSAUR WORLD

Dinosaur fans will have no trouble digging up better surveys.

A barrage of dino names and facts, with fanciful cartoon illustrations.

Between a cardboard magnifying glass taped onto the front cover and a board game (requiring reader-supplied dice and tokens) on the rear, Li scatters flat images of brightly colored dinosaurs, along with blocks of commentary that, except for some with numbers, are placed in no apparent order. The writing is amateurish (“Pterosaurs are one of the most filmed creatures of this time.” Say what?). Having set the bar for accuracy low at the outset by explaining fossilization using the “bones” of a prehistoric squid, the author goes on to present a mix of common facts and wrong or unsubstantiated information such as claims that T. Rex tails may have been too heavy to lift, that brachiosaurus was the heaviest dino, and that the duck-billed platypus is a Mesozoic relic. The stylized human figures scrambling through each scene do sport a variety of skin colors, but they are not consistently drawn to scale and are sometimes oddly placed (shredding foliage in a brachiosaur’s stomach, for instance). The science activity at the end suggests making “fossils” by burying chicken bones or toys in rubble and then digging them up.

Dinosaur fans will have no trouble digging up better surveys. (glossary, quiz) (Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: May 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-84365-307-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Pavilion/Trafalgar

Review Posted Online: Feb. 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2017

FLIP-O-STORIC

Sturdy split pages allow readers to create their own inventive combinations from among a handful of prehistoric critters. Hard on the heels of Flip-O-Saurus (2010) drops this companion gallery, printed on durable boards and offering opportunities to mix and match body thirds of eight prehistoric mammals, plus a fish and a bird, to create such portmanteau creatures as a “Gas-Lo-Therium,” or a “Mega-Tor-Don.” The “Mam-Nyc-Nia” places the head of a mammoth next to the wings and torso of an Icaronycteris (prehistoric bat) and the hind legs of a Macrauchenia (a llamalike creature with a short trunk), to amusing effect. Drehsen adds first-person captions on the versos, which will also mix and match to produce chuckles: “Do you like my nose? It’s actually a short trunk…” “I may remind you of an ostrich, because my wings aren’t built for flying…” “My tail looks like a dolphin’s.” With but ten layers to flip, young paleontologists will run through most of the permutations in just a few minutes, but Ball’s precisely detailed ink-and-watercolor portraits of each animal formally posed against plain cream colored backdrops may provide a slightly more enduring draw. A silhouette key on the front pastedown includes a pronunciation guide and indicates scale. Overall, a pleasing complement to more substantive treatments. (Novelty nonfiction. 6-8)

Pub Date: May 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7892-1099-9

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Abbeville Kids

Review Posted Online: April 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2011

HOW DO DINOSAURS SHOW GOOD MANNERS?

From the How Do Dinosaurs…? series

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

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. 17, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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