From start to finish, this cleverly constructed and well-designed title is a winner.

READ REVIEW

DINOSAUR ZOOM!

This gleeful mashup of dinosaurs and things-that-go will surely rev up some noisy participation when it is read aloud.

Dale returns with rhythmic text and vibrant watercolor-and-ink illustrations in her second dino romp (Dinosaur Dig, 2011). A first glimpse of the cover featuring a fiery-hued dinosaur behind the wheel of a blue convertible hurtling at great speed through the desert establishes that this is not your typical dino book. The beginning of the book sets a pattern in which a particular-colored dinosaur steers a certain vehicle in a specific terrain on their way to a big event. An Ankylosaurus drives a minivan, a Stegosaurus pilots an old pickup truck, and so on. (Interestingly, Welsh artist Dale mounts some steering wheels on the right and some on the left of the various cars.) Children will have fun spotting the various presents tucked away on these pages, building a little suspense and foreshadowing the party to come. The language rumbles along with sound effects: “Green dinosaur rattling. Rattling down the hill. Down the hill with a heavy load. Chug! Chug! Chug!” Soon, almost all have arrived to unload and decorate. They are “hurrying to get ready….Quick! Quick! Quick!” Once all that is done, the group hides in the trees to surprise the littlest dinosaur for his birthday. Readers will be tickled to learn that dinosaurs appear to like pizza, cookies and cake, just as they do.

From start to finish, this cleverly constructed and well-designed title is a winner. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 9, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6448-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Feb. 27, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2013

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Sweet, but like marshmallow chicks, just a bit of fluff.

THE LITTLEST EASTER BUNNY

From the Littlest series

The smallest bunny in Easter Town finds that she and her little chick friend are big enough to help the Easter Bunny prepare for the annual Easter egg hunt.

In the fifth entry in the Littlest series, Penny the bunny wants to help get ready for Easter. All the rabbits in her family are busy with their special jobs, getting eggs, candy, and baskets in order, but little Penny seems too small or clumsy to be of any help. Her parents and siblings try to let her assist them, but she falls into a vat of dye, spills marshmallow goo, gets tangled in the strands of a basket, and fails to fill even one Easter basket. Feeling dejected, Penny befriends a tiny chick named Peck. With the help of Penny’s family, Penny and Peck make miniature treats and petite baskets suitable to their own size. When the Easter Bunny’s main helpers fall ill, Penny and Peck convince the Easter Bunny that their small size will help them do the best job of finding spots to hide eggs as well as their own tiny basket creations. This too-pat conclusion doesn’t quite hold up to logical analysis, as the full-size eggs and baskets are still too large for Penny and Peck to handle. Bland cartoon illustrations are filled with bunnies in candy-bright pastels with a greeting-card cuteness quotient.

Sweet, but like marshmallow chicks, just a bit of fluff. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-32912-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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Still, this young boy’s imagination is a powerful force for helping him deal with life, something that should be true for...

OLIVER AND HIS EGG

Oliver, of first-day-of-school alligator fame, is back, imagining adventures and still struggling to find balance between introversion and extroversion.

“When Oliver found his egg…” on the playground, mint-green backgrounds signifying Oliver’s flight into fancy slowly grow larger until they take up entire spreads; Oliver’s creature, white and dinosaurlike with orange polka dots, grows larger with them. Their adventures include sharing treats, sailing the seas and going into outer space. A classmate’s yell brings him back to reality, where readers see him sitting on top of a rock. Even considering Schmid’s scribbly style, readers can almost see the wheels turning in his head as he ponders the girl and whether or not to give up his solitary play. “But when Oliver found his rock… // Oliver imagined many adventures // with all his friends!” This last is on a double gatefold that opens to show the children enjoying the creature’s slippery curves. A final wordless spread depicts all the children sitting on rocks, expressions gleeful, wondering, waiting, hopeful. The illustrations, done in pastel pencil and digital color, again make masterful use of white space and page turns, although this tale is not nearly as funny or tongue-in-cheek as Oliver and His Alligator (2013), nor is its message as clear and immediately accessible to children.

Still, this young boy’s imagination is a powerful force for helping him deal with life, something that should be true for all children but sadly isn’t. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: July 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-7573-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2014

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