Will doubtless leave young readers and viewers flushed with excitement.

READ REVIEW

THE DINOSAUR THAT POOPED THE PAST!

From the Dinosaur That… series

Fresh (if that’s the word) from excretory adventures in outer space (see The Dinosaur That Pooped a Planet, 2017), Danny and his craptastic dino companion undertake further effluvial exploits in the Jurassic.

Having discovered that the swing in Granny’s yard is a time machine, the white boy and the dino find themselves in deep soup when it breaks—stranding them in the distant past right next to an erupting volcano. With help from a trio of mischievous tykes dubbed “Dino Dudes A, B, and C,” the very images of pop-eyed, primary-colored cuteness in the cartoon illustrations, repairs are made…but how to get the required push? Having previously chowed down on Granny’s broccoli eggs and Brussels sprouts, it’s time for Dinosaur to do his thing: “The poop came out fast; it had broccoli power, / And launched them to eighty-eight miles per hour.” Back through the eras they fly (“The Romans and Trojans were covered in poop; / They all got a taste of Gran’s broccoli soup”), with the Dudes tagging along, to arrive back at Gran’s just in time for slices of, yes, broccoli cake. Parsons renders the prehistoric lava with an evocatively red and glutinous look, and if the gusher that flows out of Dinosaur’s butt is counterintuitively orange, it’s still a revolting sight. That the rhyme seems often to be in thrall to tortured scansion is probably a minor consideration.

Will doubtless leave young readers and viewers flushed with excitement. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4814-9868-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: Nov. 22, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2017

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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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A cozy bit of new-family making—perhaps better not taken too literally.

REX

Single parenting, T. Rex style.

Huge, roaring, toothy T. Rex beds down for the night in a handy empty cave—and wakes with a tiny hatchling theropod staring up at him adoringly: “Dada!” Bellowing, “You’re no Rex!” the discomfited dino lumbers off for a daily round of smashing rocks, uprooting trees, and scaring “every saurus” he sees. But Little Rex trots along and soon is pounding boulders and tearing out (small) trees of his own in imitation. Bonding ensues…and survives big Rex’s frank admission that he’s not Little Rex’s real father. “I hope I’m as terrifying as you when I grow up, Dad.” “I’ll make sure of it,” replies big Rex. “That’s what dads are for!” James never troubles to explain how Little Rex, or more precisely his egg, came to be left in the cave; evidently family arrangements “once upon about 65 million years ago” were fairly casual. Anyway, in splashy, melodramatic cartoon scenes featuring a variety of wide-eyed dinosaurs against a backdrop of erupting volcanoes, James exaggerates the size differential between the two rexes to comical effect, endows Little Rex with a cute overbite, and closes with shared smiles.

A cozy bit of new-family making—perhaps better not taken too literally. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: July 12, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7294-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

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