BANG! BOOM! ROAR!

A BUSY CREW OF DINOSAURS

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

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 29, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

TINY T. REX AND THE IMPOSSIBLE HUG

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

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. 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

HOW TO CATCH A LOVEOSAURUS

From the How To Catch… series

Sugary uplift, shrink-wrapped for the masses.

An elusive new quarry leads the How To Catch… kids on a merry chase through a natural history museum.

Taking at least a step away from the “hunters versus prey” vibe of previous entries in the popular series, the racially diverse group of young visitors dashes through various museum halls in pursuit of the eponymous dino—whose quest to “spread kindness and joy ’round the world” takes the form of a mildly tumultuous museum tour. In most of Elkerton’s overly sweet, color-saturated scenes, only portions of the Loveosaurus, who is purple and covered with pink hearts, are visible behind exhibits or lumbering off the page. But the children find small enticements left behind, from craft supplies to make cards for endangered species to pictures of smiley faces, candy heart–style personal notes (“You Rock!” “Give Hugs”), and, in the hall of medieval arms and armor, a sign urging them to “Be Honest Be Kind.” The somewhat heavy-handed lesson comes through loud and clear. “There’s a message, he wants us to think,” hints Walstead to clue in more obtuse readers…and concluding scenes of smiling people young and otherwise exchanging hugs and knuckle bumps, holding doors for a wheelchair rider, and dancing through clouds of sparkles indicate that they, at least, have gotten it. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Sugary uplift, shrink-wrapped for the masses. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 6, 2022

ISBN: 9781728268781

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2023

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