Once again, prehistoric creatures point the way to our most highly evolved selves.

READ REVIEW

I AM A TYRANNOSAURUS

From the Tyrannosaurus series

Jolted awake by a volcanic eruption, a baby Pteranodon is faced with a moral dilemma.

Having taught their beloved son all the life skills he needs to be successfully launched, Pteranodon’s parents fly away in the night, leaving him asleep in their nest. Peering down, he now sees, beneath a pile of rubble, a wounded Tyrannosaurus, suffering vision loss, perhaps as a result of concussion. Pteranodon remembers his parents’ lessons: He should be strong, kind, wary of the dangerous Tyrannosaurus—and he must help those in need. After pondering how to apply their advice to this particularly sticky situation, Pteranodon tenderly cares for Tyrannosaurus, clearing away rocks, blanketing him in leaves when it rains, and feeding him berries. When Tyrannosaurus recovers and regains his sight, the story takes a refreshingly surprising (and deeply poignant) twist, sure to provoke sophisticated conversations about our motivations for charitable behavior. The fifth entry in a series from Japan, this title features the trademark intensely saturated, bold colors and simple shapes rendered in thick black lines. Tyrannosaurus manages to appear both frightening and sympathetic, while plucky little Pteranodon embodies grit. An open, ambiguous ending allows readers to speculate about whether and how Tyrannosaurus may have been changed by this experience—a welcome contrast to books that deliver a potted message.

Once again, prehistoric creatures point the way to our most highly evolved selves. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-940842-24-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Museyon

Review Posted Online: July 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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It’s got witty illustrations, but it paints a pretty bleak picture for society.

THAT'S WHAT DINOSAURS DO

When a T. Rex gets a sore throat and cannot roar for one whole week, his self-control is tested.

William loves to roar. But not just for the sake of making loud noise. He loves hiding, sneaking, and scaring, along with roaring. He can’t help it. As the titular refrain explains: “That’s what dinosaurs do.” Oswald’s blue-dappled, toothy dino peers out from behind bushes, frightening folks in literally hair-raising fashion (even the sheep that he scares have their wool standing on end). But when the doctor tells William he must rest his voice in order to cure his sore throat, he doesn’t know how to act. He wraps a big roll of gauze around his snout and slumps through town, dejected. It’s not very much fun for William, but the townspeople are ecstatic. No more roaring! No more scaring! But will William be able to keep it up? Though moments of growth are present (William does recognize that he shouldn’t scare others), readers may be taken aback by the unabashedly unapologetic prehistoric creature’s resistance to rehabilitation. Instead of reaching for a clever way to impart wisdom, John leans heavily on the excuse, “That’s what dinosaurs do.” William is a bully, with no hope of reformation.

It’s got witty illustrations, but it paints a pretty bleak picture for society. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 21, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-234319-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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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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