From Allosaurus to Zuniceratops, a mix of familiar standbys and new or rare finds with bite-sized facts for confirmed...

ROBERT CROWTHER'S POP-UP DINOSAUR ABC

Twenty-six dinos rear up, unfold or slide into view in a pop-up prehistoric procession.

Hidden behind flaps or connected to pull tabs, the models—placed individually in rows of, usually, three per page against plain white backgrounds—come off as rather small but are recognizable, brightly colored, and posed in a variety of stances or actions. The paper design is likewise varied, so that figures stand up, come together or move unpredictably as they appear. Each is paired to a short note on the dinosaur’s name, discovery, or some physical feature, a guide to pronunciation, and a vivid comparison with familiar modern animals or items: “Quetzalcoatlus was as tall as a giraffe and had the wingspan of a small airplane”; “Tyrannosaurus…could eat an animal as big as a lion in one bite.” Though the alphabetically arranged pop-ups are not to scale and represent dinosaurs from different periods, Crowther provides both a chronological index and a size chart at the end. An errant view of a carnivorous Guanlong chowing down on plants is the only obvious stumble in this Mesozoic march.

From Allosaurus to Zuniceratops, a mix of familiar standbys and new or rare finds with bite-sized facts for confirmed dinomanes. (Informational pop-up book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 24, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7296-6

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2015

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Formulaic but not stale…even if it does mine previous topical material rather than expand it.

HOW DO DINOSAURS SHOW GOOD MANNERS?

From the How Do Dinosaurs…? series

A guide to better behavior—at home, on the playground, in class, and in the library.

Serving as a sort of overview for the series’ 12 previous exercises in behavior modeling, this latest outing opens with a set of badly behaving dinos, identified in an endpaper key and also inconspicuously in situ. Per series formula, these are paired to leading questions like “Does she spit out her broccoli onto the floor? / Does he shout ‘I hate meat loaf!’ while slamming the door?” (Choruses of “NO!” from young audiences are welcome.) Midway through, the tone changes (“No, dinosaurs don’t”), and good examples follow to the tune of positive declarative sentences: “They wipe up the tables and vacuum the floors. / They share all the books and they never slam doors,” etc. Teague’s customary, humongous prehistoric crew, all depicted in exact detail and with wildly flashy coloration, fill both their spreads and their human-scale scenes as their human parents—no same-sex couples but some are racially mixed, and in one the man’s the cook—join a similarly diverse set of sibs and other children in either disapprobation or approving smiles. All in all, it’s a well-tested mix of oblique and prescriptive approaches to proper behavior as well as a lighthearted way to play up the use of “please,” “thank you,” and even “I’ll help when you’re hurt.”

Formulaic but not stale…even if it does mine previous topical material rather than expand it. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-36334-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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A solo debut for Wenzel showcasing both technical chops and a philosophical bent.

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THEY ALL SAW A CAT

Wouldn’t the same housecat look very different to a dog and a mouse, a bee and a flea, a fox, a goldfish, or a skunk?

The differences are certainly vast in Wenzel’s often melodramatic scenes. Benign and strokable beneath the hand of a light-skinned child (visible only from the waist down), the brindled cat is transformed to an ugly, skinny slinker in a suspicious dog’s view. In a fox’s eyes it looks like delectably chubby prey but looms, a terrifying monster, over a cowering mouse. It seems a field of colored dots to a bee; jagged vibrations to an earthworm; a hairy thicket to a flea. “Yes,” runs the terse commentary’s refrain, “they all saw the cat.” Words in italics and in capital letters in nearly every line give said commentary a deliberate cadence and pacing: “The cat walked through the world, / with its whiskers, ears, and paws… // and the fish saw A CAT.” Along with inviting more reflective viewers to ruminate about perception and subjectivity, the cat’s perambulations offer elemental visual delights in the art’s extreme and sudden shifts in color, texture, and mood from one page or page turn to the next.

A solo debut for Wenzel showcasing both technical chops and a philosophical bent. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4521-5013-0

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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