Will doubtless leave young readers and viewers flushed with excitement.

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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PIRATES DON'T TAKE BATHS

Echoes of Runaway Bunny color this exchange between a bath-averse piglet and his patient mother. Using a strategy that would probably be a nonstarter in real life, the mother deflects her stubborn offspring’s string of bath-free occupational conceits with appeals to reason: “Pirates NEVER EVER take baths!” “Pirates don’t get seasick either. But you do.” “Yeesh. I’m an astronaut, okay?” “Well, it is hard to bathe in zero gravity. It’s hard to poop and pee in zero gravity too!” And so on, until Mom’s enticing promise of treasure in the deep sea persuades her little Treasure Hunter to take a dive. Chunky figures surrounded by lots of bright white space in Segal’s minimally detailed watercolors keep the visuals as simple as the plotline. The language isn’t quite as basic, though, and as it rendered entirely in dialogue—Mother Pig’s lines are italicized—adult readers will have to work hard at their vocal characterizations for it to make any sense. Moreover, younger audiences (any audiences, come to that) may wonder what the piggy’s watery closing “EUREKA!!!” is all about too. Not particularly persuasive, but this might coax a few young porkers to get their trotters into the tub. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25425-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2011

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An interesting premise but the execution is underwhelming.

STELLA KEEPS THE SUN UP

Stella hates going to bed, so she and her best buddy attempt to prevent the sun from setting.

Imaginative Stella, a young Black girl with Afro puffs, misses her friend Kamrynn, a light-skinned, straight-haired girl who has moved to “the other side of the world.” Luckily, Stella still has her best pal Roger, a blue hippo stuffie. Neither Stella nor Roger like sleeping: “Why do we have to miss all the fun and go to bed just because it gets dark?” Deciding that “if it never gets dark, then we can stay awake forever,” the duo work tirelessly to “keep the sun awake.” They play loud music, shine flashlights at the sun, and even make various attempts to launch a cup of coffee up to the celestial orb in hopes that caffeine will keep it alert. Eventually, the pair quit when they realize that if the sun never sets for them, morning can never come for Kamrynn, who wakes up when they go to bed. Despite the book’s sweet touches, the narrative is weakened by some meandering irrelevancies that make the plot feel disconnected. Also, at the beginning of the story, Stella seems enamored of the moon—she wishes she could jump high enough to kiss it—yet she and Roger spend the bulk of the book trying to prevent nightfall; this discrepancy may give some readers pause. The digital, cartoonlike illustrations are bright, colorful, and cheerful but don’t make up for the shaky plotting.

An interesting premise but the execution is underwhelming. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 8, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5344-8785-7

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Denene Millner Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2022

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