Meat and potatoes—er, more meat for hatchling dinosaur fans, with unusually eye-catching art.

READ REVIEW

I AM ALLOSAURUS

An invitation to meet a prehistoric predator and follow it from egg to exhibit.

Sounding like a slightly more articulate version of Guardians of the Galaxy’s Groot (“I am Allosaurus. I can run”), a theropod narrator hatches and survives. It avoids being eaten by larger toothy prowlers while chowing down on a dragonfly (when small) and a stegosaur (when fully grown), then passes in an abrupt page turn from Jurassic landscapes to a museum setting, towering as a fossil skeleton over human silhouettes with a final “I am Allosaurus. I am extinct.” The extreme terseness of the text and patterned repetition makes this an ideal choice for dinosaur lovers just stretching their own independent-reading legs. Along with depicting his dino with an arresting pattern of deep black stripes on a bright pink body, with vivid blue rings around its eyes, Bradley follows a current train of paleontological thought by adding a ruff of hairy feathers that vanishes as the animal matures. Dramatic shifts in perspective neatly capture scale as the reptile grows. Bradley also carefully keeps other flora and fauna in his painted scenes true to period and closes with notes on his subject’s anatomy, a map showing where Allosaurus remains have been found, and related information.

Meat and potatoes—er, more meat for hatchling dinosaur fans, with unusually eye-catching art. (bibliography) (Informational picture book/early reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-64351-749-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Arbordale

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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There’s not much beyond the razzle-dazzle, but it’s got that in spades.

ROAR

A DINOSAUR TOUR

Intense hues light up a prehistoric parade.

It’s really all about the colors. The endpapers are twinned head-shot galleries captioned, in the front, with scientific names (“Tyrannosaurus rex”) and pronunciations and, in the rear, translations of same (“Tyrant Lizard King”). In between, Paul marches 18 labeled dinos—mostly one type per page or spread, all flat, white-eyed silhouettes posed (with occasional exceptions) facing the same way against inconspicuously stylized background. The text runs toward the trite: “Some dinosaurs were fast… / and other dinosaurs were slow.” But inspired by the fact that we know very little about how dinosaurs were decorated (according to a brief author’s note), Paul makes each page turn a visual flash. Going for saturated hues and vivid contrasts rather than complex patterns, he sets red-orange spikes like flames along the back of a mottled aquamarine Kentrosaurus, places a small purple-blue Compsognathus beneath a towering Supersaurus that glows like a blown ember, pairs a Giganotosaurus’ toothy head and crest in similarly lambent shades to a spotted green body, and outfits the rest of his cast in like finery. “Today you can see their bones at the museum,” he abruptly, inadequately, and simplistically concludes.

There’s not much beyond the razzle-dazzle, but it’s got that in spades. (Informational picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: April 17, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6698-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 11, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2018

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Tempting fare for young dino-devotees.

PLESIOSAUR

From the Ancient Animals series

A gallery of prehistoric marine reptiles, their prey, and their predators.

Aiming for newly independent readers, Thomson describes in short sentences and simple language how plesiosaurs—an order that included both long- and short-necked varieties—hunted, got about with their flippers (“Maybe it paddled like a duck. Maybe it glided like a sea turtle”), gave birth to live young, and succumbed at last to an extinction event 65 million years ago. She provides broader context with comments about general features common to land and marine reptiles alike and closes with summary facts about other marine reptiles of both the past and present. Details both tantalize (the “smooth stones” in a plesiosaur’s stomach “may have helped to crush food”) and enlighten through concrete example: “Some plesiosaurs were only a bit longer than a broomstick. Some could’ve stretched halfway across a basketball court.” Throughout, Thomson carefully makes sure to emphasize that there is much we still do not know. Plant juices up the presentation with dramatic (labeled) portraits of thrillingly toothy predators leaving trails of blood in the water as they eat and are eaten.

Tempting fare for young dino-devotees. (print, video, and web resource lists) (Informational easy reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: July 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-58089-542-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2017

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