A common topic ably presented—with a participatory element adding an unusual and brilliant angle.

HERE WE GO DIGGING FOR DINOSAUR BONES

To the tune of a familiar ditty, budding paleontologists can march, dig, and sift with a crew of dinosaur hunters.

Modeling her narrative after “Here We Go ’Round the Mulberry Bush,” Lendroth (Old Manhattan Has Some Farms, 2014, etc.) invites readers to add appropriate actions and gestures as they follow four scientists—modeled by Kolar as doll-like figures of varied gender and racial presentation, with oversized heads to show off their broad smiles—on a dig. “This is the way we clean the bones, clean the bones, clean the bones. / This is the way we clean the bones on a warm and sunny morning.” The smiling paleontologists find, then carefully excavate, transport, and reassemble the fossil bones of a T. rex into a museum display. A fleshed-out view of the toothy specimen on a wordless spread brings the enterprise to a suitably dramatic climax, and unobtrusive notes in the lower corners capped by a closing overview add digestible quantities of dino-detail and context. As in Jessie Hartland’s How the Dinosaur Got to the Museum (2011), the combination of patterned text and bright cartoon pictures of scientists at accurately portrayed work offers just the ticket to spark or feed an early interest in matters prehistoric.

A common topic ably presented—with a participatory element adding an unusual and brilliant angle. (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-62354-104-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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It’s a bit sketchy of historical detail, but it’s coherent, inspirational, and engaging without indulging in rapturous...

ROSA PARKS

From the Little People, BIG DREAMS series

A first introduction to the iconic civil rights activist.

“She was very little and very brave, and she always tried to do what was right.” Without many names or any dates, Kaiser traces Parks’ life and career from childhood to later fights for “fair schools, jobs, and houses for black people” as well as “voting rights, women’s rights and the rights of people in prison.” Though her refusal to change seats and the ensuing bus boycott are misleadingly presented as spontaneous acts of protest, young readers will come away with a clear picture of her worth as a role model. Though recognizable thanks to the large wire-rimmed glasses Parks sports from the outset as she marches confidently through Antelo’s stylized illustrations, she looks childlike throughout (as characteristic of this series), and her skin is unrealistically darkened to match the most common shade visible on other African-American figures. In her co-published Emmeline Pankhurst (illustrated by Ana Sanfelippo), Kaiser likewise simplistically implies that Great Britain led the way in granting universal women’s suffrage but highlights her subject’s courageous quest for justice, and Isabel Sánchez Vegara caps her profile of Audrey Hepburn (illustrated by Amaia Arrazola) with the moot but laudable claim that “helping people across the globe” (all of whom in the pictures are dark-skinned children) made Hepburn “happier than acting or dancing ever had.” All three titles end with photographs and timelines over more-detailed recaps plus at least one lead to further information.

It’s a bit sketchy of historical detail, but it’s coherent, inspirational, and engaging without indulging in rapturous flights of hyperbole. (Picture book/biography. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-78603-018-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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A little technical for very first encounters, but both the content and the interactive presentation will absorb younger fans...

LIFE ON EARTH: DINOSAURS

Cartoon portraits of ancient creatures and the modern scientists who study them illustrate a lift-the-flap dino Q-and-A.

Printed on sturdy stock and grouped into general topics (“On the Move: Let’s see how dinosaurs moved.”), the questions scattered across each page range from general queries such as “Could dinosaurs swim?” (no: contemporary sea creatures were marine reptiles and not dinosaurs) to anatomical and behavioral specifics: “Why did plant-eaters swallow rocks?” “Was T. rex a scavenger or a hunter?” “What does a fossil footprint tell us?” Most, though not all, of the answers are concealed beneath hinged rectangular flaps of diverse size and, aside from a few bobbles, such as defining “prehistoric” as “before humans,” offer generally accurate information. Lozano alternates simplified but recognizable figures of dinosaurs and their contemporaries in prehistoric settings with views of two young investigators—one white, one brown—in a museum or working at a dig or in a lab. These two also appear, though more briefly, in the co-published Life on Earth: Jungle, which presents an array of general facts about select jungle animals and products.

A little technical for very first encounters, but both the content and the interactive presentation will absorb younger fans of dinosaurs or natural science in general. (Informational novelty. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-84780-904-9

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2017

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