Not much to sink one’s teeth into but toddler dino lovers won’t mind.

LET'S FIND THE DINOSAUR

It’s a hunt to find the T. rex among the other prehistoric reptiles in this book, which combines descriptive clues, peekaboo cutouts, and felt flaps.

As readers search for the fearsome theropod, this colorful board book also introduces a pterodactyl, a diplodocus, a triceratops, and a stegosaurus. Readers lift flaps and take hints until at last they discover their quarry beneath a yellow, egg-shaped piece of felt. The felt flaps are well suited to eager little hands; while a determined-enough toddler may be able to tear a flap from the book as, say, a T. rex tears into its prey, they are certainly sturdier than paper flaps. Each cutout incorporates glimpses of the felt flap on the next page. A flash of pale-green felt viewed through a tail-shaped die cut accompanies the question “Could this be T-rex in the trees?” A page turn reveals the full, bush-shaped flap, behind which sits a smiling triceratops. Each dinosaur’s full image appears with its name and a phonetic spelling—with, oddly, the exception of “Tyrannosaurus rex.” Willmore’s illustrations are bright and inviting with pops of lime green, deep orange, fuchsia, and turquoise. Though the T. rex features described may be fanciful rather than scientific (“spiky back,” “scaly head”) in this playful context, it seems fair game. Companion title Let’s Find the Mermaid follows the same format, though the clues are clearer, making for more successful guesses.

Not much to sink one’s teeth into but toddler dino lovers won’t mind. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: March 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68010-599-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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This will have readers putting on their dancing shoes to do the “cha cha cha” with their dino-babies

DINOSAUR DANCE!

It's not the first time dinosaurs have been featured in a clever Boynton board book. It seems she—and we—can't get enough.

As her fans know, Boynton has a sly wit that respects the intelligence of her young fans and amuses the adults asked to “read it again.” In this book she introduces nine dinosaurs, each of which dances in a way that seems totally appropriate for that particular species. “The blue Stegosaurus goes SHIMMY SHIMMY SHAKE. / The red Brontosaurus goes QUIVERY QUAKE.” Drawing on her experience as a children’s musician, she writes a text that trips along like a song with rhymes that make sense but don't intrude. The illustrations, typical Boynton, reflect her greeting-card background. They are cartoonish but manage to capture the unique personality of each creature. The unnamed dinosaur narrator looks genuinely distraught at not being able to name the “tiny little dino” that “goes DEEDLY DEE.” Spoiler alert: the tiny little dinosaur is probably Compsognathus and would be about the size of a small chicken. Young dinophiles would be impressed if the dinosaurologists in their lives could supply that factoid, but alas, they will have to look it up.

This will have readers putting on their dancing shoes to do the “cha cha cha” with their dino-babies . (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-8099-4

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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Not a great choice for the youngest dinosaur lovers.

I LOVE YOU MORE, BABYSAUR

From the Punderland series

A board-book ode to parental love as old as the dinosaurs.

A line of text on the left of each spread reads like a dinosaur-themed valentine that a third grader might choose, with punishingly punny wordplay that incorporates dinosaur-related words. On the facing page a dinosaur pair—a baby and an adult—gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes against whimsical, pastel-hued prehistoric-ish backgrounds. In smaller print, in all caps, at the bottom of the left page is the scientific name for the dinosaur referenced by the text and picture followed by a helpful phonetic pronunciation guide. White-outlined footprints appear next to their names, though the white is sometimes difficult to see against the pastel pages. Ten of the best-known dinosaurs are included. Twisting the dinosaur names to fit the loving sentiments succeeds some of the time but more often results in tortured text, well beyond the understanding of the board book audience. The line accompanying two hugging velociraptors, for instance, is just confusing: “Wrap-TOR arms around me, / with you I’ll always stay.” Others are just plain clumsy: “I-wanna-GUANODON you kisses, / I truly just adore you.” Very young children, even those fascinated by dinosaurs, will not get it. Older dinosaur fans will be put off by the babyish format.

Not a great choice for the youngest dinosaur lovers. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-7282-2295-0

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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