Combining the popular topics of space and dinosaurs is a surefire recipe for a storytime hit.

DINOSAUR ROCKET!

Dale continues to put dinos in situations sure to attract preschoolers’ attention.

The dinos have driven, rescued, dug, and built, and now they are blasting off into space. Young readers join them as they ride the bus to the launch pad, climb up to the rocket, board, and start the countdown. Once on the moon, they whizz around on their dinosaur buggies, plant and pose with their flag, play some soccer, and gaze at the Earth. A splashdown and aircraft carrier–based retrieval round out the adventure, though readers can extend the fun by identifying the dinos and the vehicles labeled on the endpapers. Dale gives children plenty of opportunity to participate in “reading” the book with her patterned text that repeats phrases: “Dinosaur rocket roaring. / Roaring and thundering into space. / Into space, zooming faster and faster! / Zoom! Zoom! Zoom!” Dale’s watercolor-and-pencil illustrations are meticulously detailed, from the cockpit controls and the look of Earth from space to the dinos themselves.

Combining the popular topics of space and dinosaurs is a surefire recipe for a storytime hit. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7999-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2015

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Young dino fans will enjoy it, though their grown-ups may not.

NOISY DINOSAURS

From the My First Touch and Feel Sound Book series

What sounds did dinosaurs make? We don't really know.

Litton suggests some possibilities while introducing sophisticated vocabulary in a board-book format. Five dinosaurs are featured: Tyrannosaurus rex, Stegosaurus, Pterodactyl, Diplodocus, and Triceratops. For each species there is a brief description that highlights its distinctive features, followed by an invitation to hear and repeat the dinosaur's sound. There is no explanation for why scientists think T. Rex “roared,” Stegosaurus “howled,” Pterodactyl “screeched,” Diplodocus “growled,” or Triceratops “grunted.” The author tries to avoid sexism, carefully referring to two of the creatures as “she,” but those two are also described in stereotypically less-ferocious terms than the male dinos. The touch point on the Pterodactyl is a soft section of wing. Readers are told that Diplodocus “loved splashing in swamps,” and the instruction is to “tickle her tummy to hear her growl,” implying that this giant creature was gentle and friendly. None of this may matter to young paleontologists, who will enjoy finding the tactile section on each creature that triggers the sound. Despite extensive directions in small print, most parents and libraries won't bother to change the battery secured by a tiny hex screw, but while the battery lasts, the book will get lots of play.

Young dino fans will enjoy it, though their grown-ups may not. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-58925-207-3

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Aug. 5, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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A visually striking, compelling recollection.

FROM THE TOPS OF THE TREES

The author recounts a formative childhood experience that continues to inspire her today.

Born to Hmong refugees, Kalia has only ever known the confines of the Ban Vinai refugee camp in Thailand. Even while playing with her cousins, reminders of the hardships of their life are always present. She overhears the aunties sharing their uncertainty and fear of the future. They are a people with no home country and are still trying to find peace. Kalia asks her father why they live behind a gate and wonders what lies beyond the fences that surround the camp. The next day they climb a tall tree, and he shows her the vast expanse around them, from familiar camp landmarks to distant mountains “where the sky meets earth.” This story of resilience and generational hope is told in an expressive, straightforward narrative style. The simplicity of the text adds a level of poignancy that moves readers to reflection. The layered and heavily textured illustrations complement the text while highlighting the humanity of the refugees and providing a quiet dignity to camp life. The militarylike color palette of olive greens, golden yellows, and rich browns reinforces the guarded atmosphere but also represents the transitional period from winter to spring, a time ripe with anticipation and promise.

A visually striking, compelling recollection. (author's note, glossary, map.) (Picture book/memoir. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5415-8130-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Carolrhoda

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2021

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The age-appropriate new vocabulary and the clever design will prompt hours of study by aspiring paleontologists; the sturdy...

DINOBLOCK

From the Block Books series

At a hefty 96 pages and 2 inches thick, this dinofest will be a challenge for little hands to lift, but the subject matter is sure to intrigue for longer than most board books.

“Meet the Dinosaurs” announces the banner across the opening illustration of a museum entrance. Then gatefolds open over 20 inches across with the questions “Who are the dinosaurs? Where are the dinosaurs?” below a museum diorama. Subsequent pages provide the answers using an effective formula: a one-line simile comparing a dinosaur to something a child might recognize, a die-cut page that highlights a characteristic of that dinosaur, then a page turn that reveals the name of the dinosaur and its phonetic pronunciation. The final gatefolds open to reveal the skeletons of each of the 23 dinosaurs introduced. A blonde Caucasian girl and a dark-skinned boy serve as the museum tour guides. Some of the comparisons are rather obscure; the spikes of a stegosaurus are compared to tents on a hill, for instance. The book will raise as many questions as it answers—for example, the dinosaurs are portrayed in varied colors, yet there is no explanation as to how scientists have determined their coloring or other features—paving the way for investigation of the topic in greater detail as readers age.

The age-appropriate new vocabulary and the clever design will prompt hours of study by aspiring paleontologists; the sturdy construction ensures the book will survive them. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: June 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4197-1674-4

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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