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Awwwwesomely cute.

A portrait gallery of baby dinos and dino cousins.

Going straight for the “AWWWW” reaction from viewers, O’Brien poses 11 big-eyed, usually fuzzy prehistoric hatchlings on plain white backgrounds in front of huge, slightly blurred parental legs that extend past the page tops. He doesn’t stint on the factual load, either. Along with identifying labels, each creature comes with an informative one- or two-sentence comment, such as, for the stegosaurus (“roofed lizard”): “This pint-sized critter grew into a leaf-eater that had a body the size of an elephant but a brain the size of a meatball.” Just for reference, a plate of meatballs is placed temptingly in front of the little stego…and all the rest of the dino tykes likewise come with either food (notably a box of doughnuts being thoroughly mangled by a tiny triceratops) or plastic toys ranging from a rubber ducky delighting a dinky Anatotitan (“giant duck”) to a race car zooming past a trio of downy velociraptors (“swift thief”). A baby T. rex (“tyrant lizard king”) gazing out sweetly, ensconced in a comparatively huge crown, is an especially adorable addition. Following a set of additional descriptive notes at the end, budding dino-fans will find silhouettes of the babies lined up on a comparative size chart—with a four-foot-tall human child towering commandingly over all.

Awwwwesomely cute. (Informational picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 23, 2024

ISBN: 9781623543662

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2023

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Adults will do better skipping the book and talking with their children.

Social-equity themes are presented to children in ABC format.

Terms related to intersectional inequality, such as “class,” “gender,” “privilege,” “oppression,” “race,” and “sex,” as well as other topics important to social justice such as “feminism,” “human being,” “immigration,” “justice,” “kindness,” “multicultural,” “transgender,” “understanding,” and “value” are named and explained. There are 26 in all, one for each letter of the alphabet. Colorful two-page spreads with kid-friendly illustrations present each term. First the term is described: “Belief is when you are confident something exists even if you can’t see it. Lots of different beliefs fill the world, and no single belief is right for everyone.” On the facing page it concludes: “B is for BELIEF / Everyone has different beliefs.” It is hard to see who the intended audience for this little board book is. Babies and toddlers are busy learning the names for their body parts, familiar objects around them, and perhaps some basic feelings like happy, hungry, and sad; slightly older preschoolers will probably be bewildered by explanations such as: “A value is an expression of how to live a belief. A value can serve as a guide for how you behave around other human beings. / V is for VALUE / Live your beliefs out loud.”

Adults will do better skipping the book and talking with their children. (Board book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-78603-742-8

Page Count: 52

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: Sept. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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With the possible exception of the opossum’s unlovely behind, more likely to elicit responses of “Cute!” than “Gross!”...

A wildlife photographer follows up Whose Butt? (2012) with a fresh portfolio of posteriors.

Showing no traces of fecal matter and only rarely even a glimpse of bare skin, the fuzzy or feathery fundaments on view belong to young creatures ranging from moose to mustang, cottontail to sandhill crane—all photographed in outdoor settings and all followed by longer-shot views of the whole animal, usually with a parent. The accompanying hints and nature notes are informative, if cutesy (“HANG ON! Baby opossums can hang by their tails, but as they grow, they become too heavy for upside-down fun”). In a more businesslike listing at the end, the author adds further comments about diet, range, and behavior for each, along with smaller headshots. Though any mention or image of “butts” will reliably get a rise from young audiences, overall this is more about baby animals in general than a specific portion of their anatomy.

With the possible exception of the opossum’s unlovely behind, more likely to elicit responses of “Cute!” than “Gross!” (Informational picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: April 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-59193-783-8

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Adventure Publications

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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