From the Little Kids First Board Book series

Beautiful artwork, just enough info, and winning subject matter.

National Geographic delivers refreshingly realistic, un–Barney-fied dinosaurs for the board-book set.

Dinosaurs are ever popular among kids of all ages, but in the board-book market, they are rarely portrayed with the majesty that makes them so fascinating in the first place. In offering after offering, they’re drawn in cute caricatures or gimmicky, textured renditions that don’t at all suggest a time when dinosaurs ruled the Earth. While such renderings are certainly nonthreatening, young readers would be hard-pressed to extrapolate any sense of the primal majesty and scale of these beasts, which have fascinated for generations. Therefore, the colorful, massive reptiles depicted herein, with their armor, horns, plates, talons, and teeth, are a breath of fresh air and a return to honest and untamed portrayals of these fascinating prehistoric beasts. One forgivable conceit employed to reduce the likelihood of nightmares is the occasional word balloon and bad pun: Feathered Scansoriopteryx, for instance, announces, “I’m a real early bird.” The primeval landscapes are lush with vegetation; landscapes and skies feel both alien and familiar. The book features 11 dinosaurs, of which only two, Stegosaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex, are familiar favorites. Portraits of dinosaurs in situ alternate with pages naming the dinosaurs shown, with pronunciation and fun facts about the creatures in question (e.g., “Shunosaurus had a very long tail”) and dinosaurs in general.

Beautiful artwork, just enough info, and winning subject matter. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: March 19, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4263-3696-6

Page Count: 26

Publisher: National Geographic Kids

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020


From the Animal Facts and Flaps series

Sure to appeal to budding paleontologists everywhere.

Colorful, fun, and informative guide for pint-sized dinosaur enthusiasts.

Kid-friendly and more informative than most dino books for tots, this lift-the-flap dinosaur book is a great next step for any kid with an interest in the subject. Each double-page panorama—occasionally folding out to three or even four pages wide—is organized around types of dinosaurs or habitats. While most featured dinosaurs are land dwellers, prehistoric reptiles of the sea and sky appear as well. Dinosaurs are rendered in bright colors on a white background in a childlike style that makes even Tyrannosaurus rex not too terrifying. Make no mistake, though; the king of the dinosaurs is clearly labeled “CARNIVORE.” Folding T. rex’s head back reveals a black-and-white handsaw, to which the text likens its enormous, sharp teeth. Another marginal illustration, captioned, “Watch out! T. rex is looking for its lunch,” shows a Triceratops specimen on a plate. Yet another reads, “Crushed dinosaur bones have been found in T. rex poop!” Several racially diverse kids appear in each scene, like toddler scientists variously observing, inspecting, and riding on the dinosaurs depicted. In addition to teaching the difference between herbivores and carnivores, the book also conveys a sense of the scale of these prehistoric beasts: Diplodocus is two school buses long, a Triceratops adult is the size of an elephant, and a Velociraptor is the size of a turkey, for example.

Sure to appeal to budding paleontologists everywhere. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0809-2

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Templar/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Nov. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019


A cheery board book to reinforce the oneness of babykind.

Ten babies in 10 countries greet friends in almost 10 languages.

Countries of origin are subtly identified. For example, on the first spread, NYC is emblazoned on a blond, white baby’s hat as well as a brown baby’s scoot-car taxi. On the next spread, “Mexico City” is written on a light brown toddler’s bike. A flag in each illustration provides another hint. However, the languages are not named, so on first reading, the fine but important differences between Spanish and Portuguese are easily missed. This is also a problem on pages showing transliterated Arabic from Cairo and Afrikaans from Cape Town. Similarly, Chinese and Japanese are transliterated, without use of traditional hànzì or kanji characters. British English is treated as a separate language, though it is, after all, still English. French (spoken by 67 million people) is included, but German, Russian, and Hindi (spoken by 101 million, 145 million, and 370 million respectively) are not. English translations are included in a slightly smaller font. This world survey comes full circle, ending in San Francisco with a beige baby sleeping in an equally beige parent’s arms. The message of diversity is reinforced by images of three babies—one light brown, one medium brown, one white—in windows on the final spread.

A cheery board book to reinforce the oneness of babykind. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-938093-87-6

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Duo Press

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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