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From the Tyrannosaurus series

A sweet story readers are unlikely to forget.

Thanks to some kind words, Miyanishi’s Tyrannosaurus experiences an unexpected friendship.

A little Spinosaurus named Wimpy is poking about the seashore for red berries when a Tyrannosaurus appears looking for a meal. Just as the Tyrannosaurus is about to chow down on Wimpy, there is a giant earthquake. The ground cracks, the piece of land they are standing on breaks off, and the two dinosaurs drift away. As they spend more time together, they form an unexpected friendship. Wimpy shares that he was gathering red berries for his sick mother, and the Tyrannosaurus begins to empathize with him. When the Tyrannosaurs picks berries for them and protects Wimpy from a flying Tapejara, the Spinosaurus showers the Tyrannosaurus with compliments, calling him “cool” and “kind.” After another unexpected earthquake, the Tyrannosaurus makes an enormous sacrifice for his friend. In the end, the two friends can no longer be with each other, and Wimpy learns how to reflect on good memories and the kindness of his friend. Through this unusual circumstance, there are lessons of empathy, compassion, friendship, and self-sacrifice. The Tyrannosaurus’ response to Wimpy and subsequent behavior demonstrate how encouraging and powerful positive words can be. Miyanishi’s trademark artwork is very bold and vibrant, and the translation features great use of onomatopoeia throughout the story. (This book was reviewed digitally with 7-by-22-inch double-page spreads viewed at 48% of actual size.)

A sweet story readers are unlikely to forget. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: July 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-940842-44-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Museyon

Review Posted Online: June 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2020

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From the How To Catch… series

Sugary uplift, shrink-wrapped for the masses.

An elusive new quarry leads the How To Catch… kids on a merry chase through a natural history museum.

Taking at least a step away from the “hunters versus prey” vibe of previous entries in the popular series, the racially diverse group of young visitors dashes through various museum halls in pursuit of the eponymous dino—whose quest to “spread kindness and joy ’round the world” takes the form of a mildly tumultuous museum tour. In most of Elkerton’s overly sweet, color-saturated scenes, only portions of the Loveosaurus, who is purple and covered with pink hearts, are visible behind exhibits or lumbering off the page. But the children find small enticements left behind, from craft supplies to make cards for endangered species to pictures of smiley faces, candy heart–style personal notes (“You Rock!” “Give Hugs”), and, in the hall of medieval arms and armor, a sign urging them to “Be Honest Be Kind.” The somewhat heavy-handed lesson comes through loud and clear. “There’s a message, he wants us to think,” hints Walstead to clue in more obtuse readers…and concluding scenes of smiling people young and otherwise exchanging hugs and knuckle bumps, holding doors for a wheelchair rider, and dancing through clouds of sparkles indicate that they, at least, have gotten it. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Sugary uplift, shrink-wrapped for the masses. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 6, 2022

ISBN: 9781728268781

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2023

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Wins for compassion and for the refusal to let physical limitations hold one back.

With such short arms, how can Tiny T. Rex give a sad friend a hug?

Fleck goes for cute in the simple, minimally detailed illustrations, drawing the diminutive theropod with a chubby turquoise body and little nubs for limbs under a massive, squared-off head. Impelled by the sight of stegosaurian buddy Pointy looking glum, little Tiny sets out to attempt the seemingly impossible, a comforting hug. Having made the rounds seeking advice—the dino’s pea-green dad recommends math; purple, New Age aunt offers cucumber juice (“That is disgusting”); red mom tells him that it’s OK not to be able to hug (“You are tiny, but your heart is big!”), and blue and yellow older sibs suggest practice—Tiny takes up the last as the most immediately useful notion. Unfortunately, the “tree” the little reptile tries to hug turns out to be a pterodactyl’s leg. “Now I am falling,” Tiny notes in the consistently self-referential narrative. “I should not have let go.” Fortunately, Tiny lands on Pointy’s head, and the proclamation that though Rexes’ hugs may be tiny, “I will do my very best because you are my very best friend” proves just the mood-lightening ticket. “Thank you, Tiny. That was the biggest hug ever.” Young audiences always find the “clueless grown-ups” trope a knee-slapper, the overall tone never turns preachy, and Tiny’s instinctive kindness definitely puts him at (gentle) odds with the dinky dino star of Bob Shea’s Dinosaur Vs. series.

Wins for compassion and for the refusal to let physical limitations hold one back. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4521-7033-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

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