Dinosaurs have feelings too.

YOU ARE MY BEST FRIEND

From the Tyrannosaurus series , Vol. 2

Kind treatment reforms a prehistoric bully in this dino bromance from Japan.

Still looking a lot like a saw-backed Godzilla in Miyanishi’s high-contrast orange-and-blue illustrations, the T. Rex first met (on this side of the Pacific) in You Look Yummy! (2015) falls off a cliff into the ocean while meanly chasing a herd of little styracosauruses. Just as he’s about to drown, along comes flippered, long-necked Elasmosaurus to boost him out of the water and, like a nurturing mammal, tenderly lick his injuries clean. As the two become fast friends, not only does T. Rex guiltily deny to Elasmosaurus that he’s a bully, he actually changes his behavior toward former victims too. When Elasmosaurus is beaten up (a “nasty dinosaur in the ocean” bites him all over), Tyrannosaurus ultimately effects a rescue in return. Confessing his true nature, he then makes a promise: “I will take care of you and help you get better. And we will be together forever and ever.” “Forever and ever,” Elasmosaurus affirms, as the two embrace tightly in the closing scene. Such demonstrativeness in male-male friendships is decidedly uncommon in American literature; to see the sentiment in a book with such muscular illustrations (and protagonists) is something of a cognitive disconnect that may cause more than one reader to reconsider assumptions.

Dinosaurs have feelings too. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-940842-10-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Museyon

Review Posted Online: March 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2016

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Formulaic but not stale…even if it does mine previous topical material rather than expand it.

HOW DO DINOSAURS SHOW GOOD MANNERS?

From the How Do Dinosaurs…? series

A guide to better behavior—at home, on the playground, in class, and in the library.

Serving as a sort of overview for the series’ 12 previous exercises in behavior modeling, this latest outing opens with a set of badly behaving dinos, identified in an endpaper key and also inconspicuously in situ. Per series formula, these are paired to leading questions like “Does she spit out her broccoli onto the floor? / Does he shout ‘I hate meat loaf!’ while slamming the door?” (Choruses of “NO!” from young audiences are welcome.) Midway through, the tone changes (“No, dinosaurs don’t”), and good examples follow to the tune of positive declarative sentences: “They wipe up the tables and vacuum the floors. / They share all the books and they never slam doors,” etc. Teague’s customary, humongous prehistoric crew, all depicted in exact detail and with wildly flashy coloration, fill both their spreads and their human-scale scenes as their human parents—no same-sex couples but some are racially mixed, and in one the man’s the cook—join a similarly diverse set of sibs and other children in either disapprobation or approving smiles. All in all, it’s a well-tested mix of oblique and prescriptive approaches to proper behavior as well as a lighthearted way to play up the use of “please,” “thank you,” and even “I’ll help when you’re hurt.”

Formulaic but not stale…even if it does mine previous topical material rather than expand it. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-36334-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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Tried and true, both in content and formula.

HOW DO DINOSAURS SAY GOODBYE?

From the How Do Dinosaurs…? series

Parting—of the temporary rather than permanent kind—is the latest topic to be dino-sorted in this venerable series’ 14th outing.

Nobody dies and the series is showing no signs of flagging, so reading anything ominous into the title is overthinking it. Instead, Teague and Yolen once again treat readers to a succession of outsized, gaily patterned dinosaurs throwing tantrums or acting out, this time as dad packs up for a business trip or even just sets off to work, grandparents pause at the door for goodbyes, mom drops her offspring off at school on a first day, parents take a date night, or a moving van pulls up to the house. Per series formula, the tone switches partway through when bad behavior gives way to (suggested) better: “They tell all the grown-ups / just how they are feeling. / It helps right away / for fast dinosaur healing.” Hugs, kisses, and a paper heart might also be more constructive responses than weeping, clinging, and making mayhem. Dinosaurian pronouns mostly alternate between he and she until switching to the generic their in the last part. In the art, the human cast mixes figures with different racial presentations and the date-night parents are an interracial couple, but there is no evident sign of same-gender or other nonnormative domestic situations.

Tried and true, both in content and formula. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 28, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-338-36335-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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