Sure to get toddlers and early readers dancing.

READ REVIEW

DINOSAUR PET

Sedaka rewrites "Calendar Girl" for the Stone Age set.

Neil's son, Marc, reworks the lyrics of his father’s famous song. Endpapers show a happy little boy sliding down a dinosaur's tail, and the title page depicts him lugging a big purple egg down the street as a puzzled pooch looks on. "I love, I love, I love / my dinosaur pet," the text begins, offering 13 additional bright two-page pictures (one for each month and a bonus). In January, the egg hatches: "[H]e's breaking out of his shell." Then February: "His body's starting to swell." (He's bright green with purple stripes.) And so it goes through the year, with the dinosaur growing bigger and bigger. In April, "when he sleeps with me / he crushes the bed." In July, "like the fireworks, / he touches the sky." September, "just the tail alone is / thirty feet long." And December, "come the new year, things are / gonna get rough." The final picture has the little boy seated at a piano, which the dinosaur is large enough to wrap all the way around, head and tail crossing. The dinosaur, the illustrations and the book itself are all appropriately big, and it's hard to beat the catchiness of the tune. The accompanying CD features this track for children and two more, all performed by Neil Sedaka.

Sure to get toddlers and early readers dancing. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: May 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-936140-36-7

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Imagine Publishing

Review Posted Online: Feb. 15, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2012

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Watching unlikely friends finally be as “happy as two someones can be” feels like being enveloped in your very own hug.

THE HUG

What to do when you’re a prickly animal hankering for a hug? Why, find another misfit animal also searching for an embrace!

Sweet but “tricky to hug” little Hedgehog is down in the dumps. Wandering the forest, Hedgehog begs different animals for hugs, but each rejects them. Readers will giggle at their panicked excuses—an evasive squirrel must suddenly count its three measly acorns; a magpie begins a drawn-out song—but will also be indignant on poor hedgehog’s behalf. Hedgehog has the appealingly pink-cheeked softness typical of Dunbar’s art, and the gentle watercolors are nonthreatening, though she also captures the animals’ genuine concern about being poked. A wise owl counsels the dejected hedgehog that while the prickles may frighten some, “there’s someone for everyone.” That’s when Hedgehog spots a similarly lonely tortoise, rejected due to its “very hard” shell but perfectly matched for a spiky new friend. They race toward each other until the glorious meeting, marked with swoony peach swirls and overjoyed grins. At this point, readers flip the book to hear the same gloomy tale from the tortoise’s perspective until it again culminates in that joyous hug, a book turn that’s made a pleasure with thick creamy paper and solid binding.

Watching unlikely friends finally be as “happy as two someones can be” feels like being enveloped in your very own hug. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-571-34875-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Faber & Faber

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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A kissing cousin to Bob Shea’s Dinosaur vs.… series.

DINOSAUR KISSES

Chomping and stomping come naturally to an exuberant dinosaur hatchling. Kissing? That takes practice.

Emerging from her egg at a run, Dinah STOMPS her fat legs and CHOMPS weeds with her sharp teeth. Kissing, though, turns out to be a challenge. After sending one hapless victim flying with a head butt and another inadvertently down the hatch (“Whoops,” she says. “Not good”), she returns to the hatchery…just in time to welcome a new sib with kisses—the sort that involve chomping, stomping and delighted head butts (“WHOMP!”). Drawn in thick outlines with a huge grin, wide eyes and a mottled yellow hide, Dinah stumps her way through minimally detailed prehistoric landscapes populated with anxious-looking smaller creatures. Children who groove on wimpy little butterfly kisses had best look elsewhere.

A kissing cousin to Bob Shea’s Dinosaur vs.… series. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6104-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2013

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