THE TYRANNOSAURUS GAME

A rainy day at school turns a dozen restless children into master storytellers. Students stare out the window at the falling rain in dismay, until the teacher suggests a game. Next thing you know, the students are sitting in a circle, crisscross-applesauce, and Jimmy begins an exciting story that begins with a Tyrannosaurus rex disrupting Saturday morning by crashing through the window. Ava picks up the thread, having the hungry dinosaur gobble up the family’s breakfast. And so around the circle it goes, to Susan and Roberto and Rusty and the rest. Jason ends it with a citywide search for the creature on the loose (and there’s a rib-tickling surprise on the final page). Schindler’s ink, gouache and watercolor illustrations are smile-inducing, extending the simple story visually. As the story continues, spread by spread, the next teller appears in a wavy-outlined inset on the bottom right, while the action described plays out across the spread, with lots of sharp teeth and debris to fill the scene. Listeners might be induced to create their own collective yarns after seeing this one. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-7614-5603-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2010

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Only for dedicated fans of the series.

HOW TO CATCH A MONSTER

From the How To Catch… series

When a kid gets the part of the ninja master in the school play, it finally seems to be the right time to tackle the closet monster.

“I spot my monster right away. / He’s practicing his ROAR. / He almost scares me half to death, / but I won’t be scared anymore!” The monster is a large, fluffy poison-green beast with blue hands and feet and face and a fluffy blue-and-green–striped tail. The kid employs a “bag of tricks” to try to catch the monster: in it are a giant wind-up shark, two cans of silly string, and an elaborate cage-and-robot trap. This last works, but with an unexpected result: the monster looks sad. Turns out he was only scaring the boy to wake him up so they could be friends. The monster greets the boy in the usual monster way: he “rips a massive FART!!” that smells like strawberries and lime, and then they go to the monster’s house to meet his parents and play. The final two spreads show the duo getting ready for bed, which is a rather anticlimactic end to what has otherwise been a rambunctious tale. Elkerton’s bright illustrations have a TV-cartoon aesthetic, and his playful beast is never scary. The narrator is depicted with black eyes and hair and pale skin. Wallace’s limping verses are uninspired at best, and the scansion and meter are frequently off.

Only for dedicated fans of the series. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4926-4894-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more