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From the If Extinct Beasts Came to Life series

Armchair thrills aplenty for Anthropocene readers.

Artful digital collage makes it easy to imagine memorable modern encounters with a hippo-eating snake and other extinct creatures.

Except for a species of dwarf elephant that was about the same size as the sheep among which it poses here, the animals on display were all outsized—ranging from the evocatively named Titanoboa and a hawk-sized dragonfly dubbed Meganeura to 8-foot-long prehistoric beavers and the armored frog Beelzebufo. Mendez superimposes photorealistic digital images of each into contemporary settings, often to dramatic effect: the aforementioned amphibian is posed nose to nose with a German shepherd, for instance, and a white woman looks understandably shocked at the 7-foot-long Arthropleura, a Carboniferous millipede, rearing up on her kitchen counter. Along with an opening overview and closing notes about fossil-hunting, Rake supplies basic facts about each creature’s size, range, and probable habits. Rake and Mendez repeat the formula for equally memorable scenarios in the co-published Prehistoric Giants, Prehistoric Predators, and Prehistoric Sea Beasts.

Armchair thrills aplenty for Anthropocene readers. (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5124-1159-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Hungry Tomato/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Jan. 16, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017

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From the Dino Riders series , Vol. 1

Adventures and misadventures, Old West style—but with dinos.

Young Josh needs to up his ride if he’s going to win the Trihorn settlement’s 100th-anniversary Founders’ Day race and meet his hero, Terrordactyl Bill.

Set on the Lost Plains, where ranchers tend to herds of iguanodons, and horses (if there were any) would be easy pickings for the local predators, this series kickoff pits a brash lad and sidekick and schoolmates Sam and Abi against not only the requisite bully, but such fiercer adversaries as attacking pterodactyls. Josh’s first challenge after eagerly entering the race is finding a faster, nimbler steed than his steady but old gallimimus, Plodder. Along comes Charge—an aptly named, if not-quite-fully-trained triceratops with speed, brains, and, it turns out, a streak of loyalty that saves Josh’s bacon both here and in a simultaneously publishing sequel, How To Rope a Giganotosaurus, which prominently features T. Rex’s much larger cousin. Dare adds a map, as well as spot illustrations of rural Western types (Josh and Abi are white, Sam has dark skin and tightly curled hair) astride toothy, brightly patterned dinos. In both adventures Josh weathers regular encounters with dinosaur dung, snot, and gas as well as threats to life and limb to show up the aforementioned bully and emerge a hero.

Adventures and misadventures, Old West style—but with dinos. (Fantasy. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4926-4668-6

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: Jan. 16, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017

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From the Dino-Mike series , Vol. 1

Like Sam with those hot dogs, readers eager to snap up any dino-story will make quick work of this tongue-in-cheek romp.

The appearance of a live T. Rex near a fossil dig kicks off a wild round of dino-antics in this series kickoff from an Eisner Award–winning comics writer.

Hardly has young Mike donned his high-tech, solar-powered hoodie—a present from his paleontologist dad—than he’s running into Shannon, a mysterious girl wielding awesome futuristic devices, and running in panic from a hungry T. Rex he decides, in a less frantic moment, to name Sam. Secretive about her origins, Shannon enlists Mike, whom she dubs “Dino-Mike” (she herself goes by the less punchy moniker “Triceratops Shannon”), to help her steal a hot dog truck and lure the monster into a force field cage so that it can be sent back to the Cretaceous. Though ultimately successful, the mission is not only complicated by continuing interference from rascally dinosaur collector Jurassic Jeff, but capped, in a closing stunner, with unmistakable evidence that “Sam” was actually “Samantha.” Franco strews his lickety-split escapade with cartoons featuring wide-eyed figures viewed, often, from dramatic angles, leaves loose ends aplenty for sequels, and tacks on a dino-glossary and a set of T. Rex facts at the end.

Like Sam with those hot dogs, readers eager to snap up any dino-story will make quick work of this tongue-in-cheek romp. (Science fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: March 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4342-9631-3

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Capstone Young Readers

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2014

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