Truly this contains some knights to remember.



Arthurian legend takes a trip to the Cretaceous in this rollicking reptilian reinterpretation.

O’Hara and Joyner follow up their Romeosaurus and Juliet Rex (2018) by going farther back in time to the dino days of yore. Three dinosaur squires in training for knighthood attend the Festival of the Stone. There, knights from far and wide attempt to pull a horn from a stone in the hopes of being crowned king or queen if they succeed. All fail until the clumsy-but-plucky triceratops, Arthur-a-tops, manages the deed. Befuddled by the crowd’s jeering response, Arthur then accidentally lodges his own front horn into the stone. Fortunately, a little help from his friends helps him become the king everyone deserves. O’Hara peppers the old tale with some nice updates, making Guinevere a “fast and fearless” raptor and squire. And transforming Camelot’s cast to dino equivalents is a snap, since all it takes is to add an “o-saur” here or an “a-tops” there. Joyner’s art gives the enterprise the jollity a tale chock-full of knights and terrible lizards deserves—until a flaming asteroid appears in the very last scene….

Truly this contains some knights to remember. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-265275-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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


From the How Do Dinosaurs…? series

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. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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Safe to say it’s the only dinosaur-poop–themed Christmas book readers will ever need.


Santa delivers a naughty boy his comeuppance in this yuck- and yuk-filled Christmas book.

Santa is appalled at the length of greedy Danny’s list—especially since the lad already has a “mountain of toys.” Santa decides, “I’ll leave him a present, / But this year his present might just be unpleasant.” After hearing a clatter, Danny rushes to see a “GIGANTIC egg” dwarfing the Christmas tree. It promptly hatches a dinosaur that sets to devouring everything, and everyone, in sight. Danny watches, horrified, as it eats his grandmother, his parents, and their whole house. The comical, rhyming text’s tone is light and is supported by the cartoon digital art, which shows a rotund, house-sized dinosaur on the former site of Danny’s home. Bereft, the boy realizes “it wasn’t the house or the presents he missed; / Without family, Christmas just didn’t exist.” Lucky for him, though perhaps not for squeamish readers, the dinosaur’s overindulgence leads to two spreads of voluminous defecation, with Danny’s family, the house’s contents, Santa and reindeer, and more all sailing “from the dinosaur’s butt” on a “massive WHOOOOOOSH” of liquid, brown poop. All characters are unscathed, and cleanup happens mercifully quickly, though readers may feel a bit ill at the sight of piles and rivulets of poop still decking the halls. Santa, Danny, and his family all present white.

Safe to say it’s the only dinosaur-poop–themed Christmas book readers will ever need. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4814-9872-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2019

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