DANCING DINOS GO TO SCHOOL

Half a dozen lime-green dinosaurs are the stars of this delightful easy reader that offers most of the best qualities of the genre: rhyming text, a jolly rhythm, funny characters and lots of action. The well-written, brief text follows the dancing dinosaurs in a school-library setting as they dance right out of the pages of an open book and into mischief around the school and playground. The librarian, an African-American woman with glasses, and one male student follow the dinosaurs, but the action focuses firmly on the out-of-control dinosaurs. Though this is intended for new readers who are just starting to sound out words, both the storyline and appealing art are strong enough to work as a read-aloud for younger children as well. These dancing dinos have legs, and they ought to pop back out of their book for more rollicking adventures for new readers. (Easy reader. 4-7)

Pub Date: July 11, 2006

ISBN: 0-375-83241-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2006

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Well-trodden dino turf, but the grass is still fairly green.

IF YOU HAPPEN TO HAVE A DINOSAUR

A tongue-in-cheek look at some of the many ways that idle household dinosaurs can be put to work.

Jack casts a host of cartoon dinosaurs—most of them humongous, nearly all smiling and candy bright of hue—in roles as can openers, potato mashers, yard sweepers, umbrellas on rainy days, snowplows, garbage collectors, and like helpers or labor savers. Even babysitters, though, as Bailey aptly notes, “not all dinosaurs are suited to this work.” Still, “[t]he possibilities are amazing!” And even if there aren’t any handy dinos around, she concludes, any live-in octopus, sasquatch, kangaroo or other creature can be likewise exploited. A bespectacled, woolly-haired boy who looks rather a lot like Weird Al Yankovic serves as dino-wrangler in chief, heading up a multiethnic cast of kids who enjoy the dinosaurs’ services. As with all books of this ilk, the humor depends on subtextual visual irony. A group of kids happily flying pterosaur kites sets up a gag featuring a little boy holding a limp string tied to the tail of a grumpy-looking stegosaurus. Changes on this premise have been run over and over since Bernard Most’s If the Dinosaurs Came Back (1978), and though this iteration doesn’t have any fresh twists to offer, at least it’s bright and breezy enough to ward off staleness.

Well-trodden dino turf, but the grass is still fairly green. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: May 13, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-77049-568-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Tundra

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2014

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DETECTIVE DINOSAUR UNDERCOVER

From the Detective Dinosaur series , Vol. 1

Detective Dinosaur, showcased in his third entry in the I Can Read! series, is the same charming numbskull readers have come to love. This book is broken up into three chapters, each of which is a “case” for the detective to solve. In the first caper, when Detective Dinosaur is called in to do some undercover work, the real mystery is his interpretation of "undercover." In the second, the dinosaur has a nightmare—er, napmare—and wakes up to find mysterious large blobs at the end of his blanket-covered legs. The third mystery takes the sleuth on an outing during which he tries to deduce why the sun is shining brightly even though he keeps getting soaked. Enhancing the narrative is a cast of funky characters, such as Ricky Raptor and Cadet Kitty, illustrated in bright cavorting watercolors. Readers will smirk at being smarter than the detective and giggle at his goof-ups. With a pronunciation guide for those tongue-twisting dinosaur names, this accessible and super-silly romp will be a boost for those about to embark on the next level for chapter books. (Early reader. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-06-623878-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2010

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