Rousing dino adventure with enough tooth-to-claw fighting for an exciting climax.

DINOSAUR PIRATES!

A dino yo ho ho and away we go!

Having already covered cars, trucks, and rockets (Dinosaur Rocket, 2015, etc.), Dale ensnares preschooler’s hearts and minds with yet another irresistible combination: dinos + pirates. In this latest edition to the series, the scaly scalawags take to the high seas. They’re on the hunt for booty, and they’ve a map to lead them on. Told in rhythmic, not-quite-rhyming language, the simple storyline is punctuated by context-appropriate interjections repeated in threes: “Scrub! Scrub! Scrub!” (as the dinos swab the decks) or “Heave ho! Heave ho! Heave ho!” (as they haul a treasure chest out of the ground). Little listeners will certainly join in with scurvy aplomb. Things take a turn for the interesting when a band of scavenging pirates (appropriately cast as a pack of “rotten raptors”) boards our heroes’ vessel, eager to nick the hard-sought gold. A great battle ensues, and through clever trickery the raptors are defeated. Great merriment follows. While there is little here that is particularly original, Dale’s vibrant and elaborately detailed pencil-and-watercolor illustrations breathe new life into these long-extinct rogues. This is a book that knows its audience and will suit the needs of pirate and dinosaur fans alike.

Rousing dino adventure with enough tooth-to-claw fighting for an exciting climax. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9330-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2017

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Don’ts and Do’s in a familiar formula go down easily for fans and will provide a good conversation starter for parents.

HOW DO DINOSAURS STAY SAFE?

From the How Do Dinosaurs…? series

Officer Buckle had Gloria, his police canine, to help his audience see the value of his safety lessons; Yolen and Teague have their dinos.

Addressing such perennial topics as jumping on the bed, climbing too high and stair safety, Yolen and Teague first present the dinos doing the wrong things, their faces plainly showing that they are surprised and scared by the world of hurt about to come their ways while caring (and dwarfed) loved ones freak out in the backgrounds. “Does he climb up too high? // Or jump on his bed? // Does he race on his bike with no helmet on head?” (Scansion is a bit of an issue.) Of course not! And though the text says that it will tell readers why, it doesn’t, instead just explaining what the dinos do to stay safe. Among other things, Cearadactylus holds Mama’s hand and crosses with the light, Majungasaurus swims where his papa can see him, Agustinia wears his bike helmet, and Concavenator brings water to drink on long hikes. As in previous outings, Teague’s artwork steals the show, the realism of the scenes and human figures juxtaposed with the giant, though childish, dinos. Labels in the illustrations and endpapers will help dino mavens identify their favorites.

Don’ts and Do’s in a familiar formula go down easily for fans and will provide a good conversation starter for parents. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 24, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-439-24104-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

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Count on construction die-hards falling in love, but discerning readers would be wise to look elsewhere for their...

DIGGERSAURS

Less ambitious than Chris Gall’s widely known Dinotrux (2009) and sequels, this British import systematically relegates each dinosaur/construction-equipment hybrid to its most logical job.

The title figures are introduced as bigger than both diggers and dinosaurs, and rhyming text and two construction-helmeted kids show just what these creatures are capable of. Each diggersaur has a specific job to do and a distinct sound effect. The dozersaurus moves rocks with a “SCRAAAAPE!!!” while the rollersaurus flattens lumps with a cheery “TOOT TOOT!!” Each diggersaur is numbered, with 12 in all, allowing this to be a counting book on the sly. As the diggersaurs (not all of which dig) perform jobs that regular construction equipment can do, albeit on a larger scale, there is no particular reason why any of them should have dinosaurlike looks other than just ’cause. Peppy computer art tries valiantly to attract attention away from the singularly unoriginal text. “Diggersaurs dig with bites so BIG, / each SCOOP creates a crater. // They’re TOUGH and STRONG / with necks so long— / they’re super EXCAVATORS!” Far more interesting are the two human characters, a white girl and a black boy, that flit about the pictures offering commentary and action. Much of the fun of the book can be found in trying to spot them on every two-page spread.

Count on construction die-hards falling in love, but discerning readers would be wise to look elsewhere for their dino/construction kicks. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-9848-4779-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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