Fine fare for younger dinophiles alone, one-on-one, or in herds.

READ REVIEW

MY FIRST POP-UP DINOSAURS

A low-key 3-D portrait gallery of dinos and prehistoric reptiles.

Showing considerable improvement over the lackadaisically designed dinos he made for Sheri Safran’s Dinosaurs! (2015), the 15 models that paper engineer Hawcock presents here sport natural-looking parts and poses. Some, such as a marine Elasmosaurus raising its sinuous neck as the spread opens and T. Rex flashing its toothy dentifrice directly at viewers, even offer realistic movement. Other effects include a Brachiosaurus that sticks its head up high above the top of the book (it will surely be the first to tear off) and a small flock of Coelophysis that race along at three levels of depth. Illustrator Davey kits nearly all out in brightly contrasting skin patterns or dramatic sprays of feathers, and he places each against plain or minimally detailed backgrounds to make shapes and colors pop. He sticks to mostly subdued earth or marine tones—even the turkeylike Oviraptor sports fairly staid plumage. Aside from polysyllabic one-word labels in big type with pronunciation guides beneath, there is no text.

Fine fare for younger dinophiles alone, one-on-one, or in herds. (Novelty picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0566-4

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Candlewick Studio

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

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A $16.99 Mother’s Day card for cat lovers.

MOMMIES ARE AMAZING

The team of Costain and Lovšin (Daddies are Awesome, 2016) gives moms their due.

Rhyming verses tell of all the ways moms are amazing: “Mommies are magic. / They kiss away troubles… // …find gold in the sunlight / and rainbows in bubbles.” Moms are joyful—the best playmates. They are also fearless and will protect and soothe if you are scared. Clever moms know just what to do when you’re sad, sporty moms run and leap and climb, while tender moms cuddle. “My mommy’s so special. / I tell her each day… // … just how much I love her / in every way!” Whereas dads were illustrated with playful pups and grown-up dogs in the previous book, moms are shown as cats with their kittens in myriad colors, sizes, and breeds. Lovšin’s cats look as though they are smiling at each other in their fun, though several spreads are distractingly cut in half by the gutter. However delightful the presentation—the verse rolls fairly smoothly, and the cats are pretty cute—the overall effect is akin to a cream puff’s: very sweet and insubstantial.

A $16.99 Mother’s Day card for cat lovers. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62779-651-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2017

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There are better fish in the board-book sea.

SHARKS

From the Science for Toddlers series

Dramatic stock photos and die-cut tabs are the distinguishing features of this board book.

“Did you know that there are over 400 types of sharks?” is an intriguing opening, but readers primed to find out about those specific types may be surprised that the shark on the facing page is not identified. Instead, the picture of a shark above a school of fish gives a sense of its size. Smaller text explains that shark skeletons are made of cartilage, not bone. Layered die cuts that accentuate the nose and mouth of nine different sharks on the right-hand pages invite children to turn the pages quickly. White type printed against various contrasting colors on the left-hand pages offers tidbits of information but is unlikely to make young children pause long enough to be read the text. A picture of almost 40 sharks swimming together seems to contradict the accompanying explanation that many sharks are endangered. A final full-color spread speaks of sharks’ important role in maintaining ocean balance and includes a picture of a grandfatherly shark scientist. The back cover is devoted to information for adults. While intriguing and scientifically credible, the wordy text and seemingly arbitrary factoids are well beyond the attention spans of all but the most avid young fans of the species.

There are better fish in the board-book sea. (Board book. 3-4)

Pub Date: June 6, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4549-2128-8

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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