Perhaps it’s time to chime in on her rallying cry: “Boycott dinosaur lunch boxes! No more dinosaur books at story time!” As...

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MEGAMAMMAL MEG

MEG ATHERIUM'S GUIDE TO THE GREATEST MAMMALS THAT EVER LIVED!

For children (and grown-ups) who are sick of dinos, dinos, dinos 24/7, here’s a plea from “Meg Atherium” to remember the giant prehistoric mammals.

“I’d like your undivided attention because I’ve got some complaining to do,” opens the shaggy ground sloth in Lynch’s minimally detailed cartoons. Sure, dinosaurs ruled the Earth for 120 million years and then disappeared through tantalizingly mysterious causes. So what? Why should they get all the movies, books, posters, breakfast cereals, pajamas and lunch boxes? Claiming that nonreptiles deserve at least as much respect, Meg introduces herself and a gallery of equally jumbo Cenozoic Era animals. These include Baluchitherium (Meg calls him “Big Baluka”) and the 7-foot-tall bird Diatryma, which also mysteriously died out. The optional voice-over is particularly lively. Paired to images of extinct creatures that look like plush toys and respond to taps with a diverse array of silly noises or small animations, Meg’s argument may strike many as compelling.

Perhaps it’s time to chime in on her rallying cry: “Boycott dinosaur lunch boxes! No more dinosaur books at story time!” As if—but she makes a strong case. (iPad informational app. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 28, 2013

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: 3r Interactive LLC

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2013

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ROOM ON THE BROOM

Each time the witch loses something in the windy weather, she and her cat are introduced to a new friend who loves flying on her broom. The fluid rhyming and smooth rhythm work together with one repetitive plot element focusing young attention spans until the plot quickens. (“Is there room on the broom for a blank such as me?”) When the witch’s broom breaks, she is thrown in to danger and the plot flies to the finish. Her friends—cat, dog, frog, and bird—are not likely to scare the dragon who plans on eating the witch, but together they form a formidable, gooey, scary-sounding monster. The use of full-page or even page-and-a-half spreads for many of the illustrations will ensure its successful use in story times as well as individual readings. The wart-nosed witch and her passengers make magic that is sure to please. Effective use of brilliant colors set against well-conceived backgrounds detail the story without need for text—but with it, the story—and the broom—take off. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-8037-2557-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2001

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ZATHURA

A trite, knock-off sequel to Jumanji (1981). The “Jumanji” box distracts Walter Budwing away from beating up on his little brother Danny, but it’s Danny who discovers the Zathura board inside—and in no time, Earth is far behind, a meteor has smashed through the roof, and a reptilian Zyborg pirate is crawling through the hole. Each throw of the dice brings an ominous new development, portrayed in grainy, penciled freeze frames featuring sculptured-looking figures in constricted, almost claustrophobic settings. The angles of view are, as always, wonderfully dramatic, but not only is much of the finer detail that contributed to Jumanji’s astonishing realism missing, the spectacular damage being done to the Budwings’ house as the game progresses is, by and large, only glimpsed around the picture edges. Naturally, having had his bacon repeatedly saved by his younger sibling’s quick thinking, once Walter falls through a black hole to a time preceding the game’s start, his attitude toward Danny undergoes a sudden, radical transformation. Van Allsburg’s imagination usually soars right along with his accomplished art—but here, both are just running in place. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 2002

ISBN: 0-618-25396-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2002

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