Pure pleasure for children addicted to dinos, the delights of big trucks and decoding visual jumbles.

BANG! BOOM! ROAR!

A BUSY CREW OF DINOSAURS

A teeming dino crew in hard hats and safety vests create organized if frenetic chaos on a mucky construction site in this alpha-romp.

The 16 full-bleed digital collages are jammed with hundreds of sharply reproduced images and photos of hand tools, heavy machinery, construction materials, litter and hidden letters, as well as flying glop of various sorts. Within them, a swarm of grimacing, toothy cartoon monsters convert a trash-filled empty lot into an urban playground. Rhymed, if not always regular, stanzas of alliterative text provide a heavy background beat: “Trample rock with this track paver. / Toss in tar! A true time-saver! / Towering torches and twisting necks. / Teetering, tottering tons of high tech!” Whether peeking out of a port-a-potty, racing lumbering earth movers or putting their “[j]umbo blubber in a wiggle” with jackhammers, the well-larded laborers are easily identifiable thanks to a labeled opening gallery (with bananas or steaks added to indicate dietary preferences). Along with the aforementioned hidden alphabet—plus dozens of other items listed at the back—the pictures are chock-full of funny side business for young eyes to pick out too.

Pure pleasure for children addicted to dinos, the delights of big trucks and decoding visual jumbles. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-087960-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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Wins for compassion and for the refusal to let physical limitations hold one back.

TINY T. REX AND THE IMPOSSIBLE HUG

With such short arms, how can Tiny T. Rex give a sad friend a hug?

Fleck goes for cute in the simple, minimally detailed illustrations, drawing the diminutive theropod with a chubby turquoise body and little nubs for limbs under a massive, squared-off head. Impelled by the sight of stegosaurian buddy Pointy looking glum, little Tiny sets out to attempt the seemingly impossible, a comforting hug. Having made the rounds seeking advice—the dino’s pea-green dad recommends math; purple, New Age aunt offers cucumber juice (“That is disgusting”); red mom tells him that it’s OK not to be able to hug (“You are tiny, but your heart is big!”), and blue and yellow older sibs suggest practice—Tiny takes up the last as the most immediately useful notion. Unfortunately, the “tree” the little reptile tries to hug turns out to be a pterodactyl’s leg. “Now I am falling,” Tiny notes in the consistently self-referential narrative. “I should not have let go.” Fortunately, Tiny lands on Pointy’s head, and the proclamation that though Rexes’ hugs may be tiny, “I will do my very best because you are my very best friend” proves just the mood-lightening ticket. “Thank you, Tiny. That was the biggest hug ever.” Young audiences always find the “clueless grown-ups” trope a knee-slapper, the overall tone never turns preachy, and Tiny’s instinctive kindness definitely puts him at (gentle) odds with the dinky dino star of Bob Shea’s Dinosaur Vs. series.

Wins for compassion and for the refusal to let physical limitations hold one back. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4521-7033-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

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Laugh-out-loud fun for all.

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NANETTE'S BAGUETTE

Hilarious complications ensue when Nanette’s mom gives her the responsibility of buying the family baguette.

She sets out on her errand and encounters lots of distractions along the way as she meets and greets Georgette, Suzette, Bret with his clarinet, Mr. Barnett and his pet, Antoinette. But she remembers her mission and buys the baguette from Juliette the baker. And oh, it is a wonderful large, warm, aromatic hunk of bread, so Nanette takes a taste and another and more—until there is nothing left. Maybe she needs to take a jet to Tibet. But she faces her mother and finds understanding, tenderness, and a surprise twist. Willems is at his outlandish best with line after line of “ettes” and their absurd rhymes, all the while demonstrating a deep knowledge of children’s thought processes. Nanette and the entire cast of characters are bright green frogs with very large round eyes, heavily outlined in black and clad in eccentric clothing and hats. A highly detailed village constructed of cardboard forms the background for Nanette’s adventures. Her every emotion explodes all over the pages in wildly expressive, colorful vignettes and an eye-popping use of emphatic display type. The endpapers follow the fate of the baguette from fresh and whole to chewed and gone. Demands for encores will surely follow.

Laugh-out-loud fun for all. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4847-2286-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2016

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