Better add plastic dinosaurs to the shopping list—kids will want in on the fun.



From the What the Dinosaurs Did series , Vol. 2

After demolishing a house with their antics (What the Dinosaurs Did Last Night, 2015), the plastic dinosaur toys stow away in a backpack and wreak havoc on a school.

A glimpse of an orange tail and a flash of green scales alert the kids that the prehistoric beasts are on the loose. If they want their toys to escape the teacher’s “Drawer of No Return” they’ll have to act fast to contain them. But as in the first book, no room is truly safe when you are talking about these trouble-finding toys, who get in to absolutely everything. In the library, ripped-out pages and some folding skills yield swords and arrows, and the cafeteria becomes a nightmare of spaghetti and squirted liquids. The lab? Let’s just say the dinos shouldn’t have mixed those liquids together. The resultant foam explosion fills a spread and sees the dinos banished to the dreaded drawer. But is this the end? Have they learned? If you answer yes, you don’t really know the Tumas. The husband-and-wife team of “Dinovember” fame pose their plastic dinosaurs with props and use perspective masterfully to stage their scenes. Those new to school will be treated to a rather different view of the place and some clever uses of the supplies they have waiting for their own first days.

Better add plastic dinosaurs to the shopping list—kids will want in on the fun. (Picture book. 5-10)

Pub Date: June 6, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-316-55289-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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Top-notch for group storytime, for a project on revising classics or just for enjoyment; funniest for kids who know the...


A hilariously fractured fairy tale.

The structure’s well-known, so the endpapers list myriad permutations, almost all crossed out: Goldilocks and the Three Clams? Three Ostriches? Three Glasses of Milk? Nope, it’s Dinosaurs: Papa, Mama and one Dinosaur "who happened to be visiting from Norway.” Details are tasty—chocolate pudding instead of porridge; a different furniture riff (“The first chair was too tall. The second chair was too tall. But the third chair— [page turn] —WAS TOO TALL”). Even funnier are the  obviously fraudulent protestations. Child-friendly irony lets readers giggle knowingly as Mama Dinosaur muses, “I SURE HOPE NO INNOCENT LITTLE SUCCULENT CHILD HAPPENS BY OUR UNLOCKED HOME WHILE WE ARE…uhhh…SOMEPLACE ELSE!” They’re “definitely not hiding in the woods waiting for an unsuspecting kid”; pudding sits unattended to enable the creation of “delicious chocolate-filled-little-girl-bonbons (which, by the way, are totally not the favorite things in the whole world for hungry Dinosaurs).” Winking, the text places readers gleefully in the know—and Goldilocks is no patsy either. Willems’ trademark cartoon-style illustrations include sly eyebrows, sardonic glances and a fabulous picture of Goldilocks inside a pudding bowl. When she’s beyond satiated, her pupils dilate—enormous, then tiny—subtly nodding to the old tale’s “too big, too small” theme.

Top-notch for group storytime, for a project on revising classics or just for enjoyment; funniest for kids who know the original. (Fractured fairy tale. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-210418-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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Viorst, better known within the children's-book world for picture books than novels, flexes her muscles and introduces readers to delightfully obnoxious, fit-throwing Lulu, a spoiled only child prone to indulging in over-the-top temper tantrums to get what she wants. And what she wants now is a brontosaurus for her birthday. Her long-suffering parents finally put their collective feet down and refuse. Lulu’s antics do no good this time, so she heads into the woods to find a dinosaur herself. In short chapters interspersed with funny narrative asides and whimsical black-and-white illustrations, readers follow Lulu as she heads into the woods, faces off with some ferocious animals and finally finds the brontosaurus, who decides he’d rather have Lulu as his pet than be hers! Lulu won’t survive this adventure without some serious changes in her behavior. Dinosaurs, it turns out, are fond of good manners. The glib narrator provides not one but three endings for readers to choose from. Even so, they still won’t have had enough of Lulu. Pitch perfect for the beginning chapter-book crowd. (Fiction. 6-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4169-9961-4

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2010

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