Make reservations elsewhere.

READ REVIEW

THERE'S A DINOSAUR ON THE 13TH FLOOR

This hotel is for the birds! (And spiders, mice, pigs….)

Mr. Snore, a very tired musician whose face looks like one colossal nose, checks into the Sharemore Hotel one evening. Sadly, the rooming accommodations on the first floor are not up to Mr. Snore’s standards, as the bed is already occupied by a small mouse sleeping on the pillow. The bellhop, who bears a passing resemblance to Tintin, relocates Mr. Snore to the second floor, where he finds a covers-hogging hog. This pattern repeats with each floor until Mr. Snore reaches the 13th and the titular dinosaur. At this point, the joke turns, and it is the annoyed dino who requests a new room when it finds Mr. Snore snoozing on its pillow. The book ends with the exhausted dinosaur sleeping in the lobby with the bellhop. Overall, the execution is fair, if a tad bland. While the page turns reveal each new animal, the preceding images don’t give much in the way of hints as to what they will be, denying young readers a chance to develop their predictive skills. Some of the rooms’ doors are fancifully styled to match their inhabitants, but most are plain—a missed opportunity. The acrylic-and-ink illustrations are amusing enough, but the caricature of Mr. Snore and his schnoz is an odd choice. Both Mr. Snore and the bellhop are white.

Make reservations elsewhere. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7636-8665-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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Gift items for confirmed young enthusiasts, with a substantial but not wearisome informational load.

DINOSAURS

From the Smithsonian Young Explorers series

In lunchbox-style packaging, a booklet of dino facts and a prehistoric panorama are presented on both a folded poster and a jigsaw puzzle.

Strother devotes 10 of her 32 pages to ornithischian, or bird-hipped, dinosaurs (correctly noting that they are not the ancestors of modern birds). She also manages to survey the Mesozoic Era in general, introduce a few theropods, describe fossilization, and present up-to-date information about dinosaur colors and extinction theories. All of this is crammed onto thematic spreads with small paintings and photos of fossils or generic images of fleshed-out reconstructions in minimally detailed settings. Francis contributes a collective portrait of dinosaurs of diverse size and period posing together over a labeled timeline. This can be hung up and, as a 130-piece jigsaw, assembled. Also available from the same author and illustrator, and likewise in a round-corned box with a carrying handle and snap close, is Oceans, a densely populated dive into the deep.

Gift items for confirmed young enthusiasts, with a substantial but not wearisome informational load. (Informational novelty. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-62686-145-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Silver Dolphin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

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A bland but amiable iteration.

THE WONDROUS DINOSAURIUM

Yet another child learns that dinosaurs make exciting, if chancy, pets.

On the prowl for a pet, Danny walks past shop windows displaying puppies and kittens to enter the titular storefront…where “Mr. Ree, purveyor of prehistoric pets,” offers him any dino he might desire. Unfortunately his first pick, Diplodocus longus, eats half a ton of veggies per day; his second, Tyrannosaurus rex (“Ooh, brave choice”), is too, well, “drooly”; and later ones—unnamed but brightly patterned, smiling, and recognizably depicted in Brown’s cartoon scenes—prove likewise impractical or unsatisfactory. (Confirmed dinophiles might be able to tag the unidentified beasts, but there is no key for paleontological newbies.) Condon works the well-worn premise to a happy resolution, as the pet Danny finally brings home in a box turns out to be not an ordinary tortoise, as his mother thinks at first sight, but a spiky-tailed, tortoiselike Meiolania from the Middle Miocene, small enough to pick up…at first, anyway. Aside from a background figure in one scene, the human cast is uniformly white. José Carlos Andrés and Ana Sanfelippo’s Adopting a Dinosaur (2019), Jason Cockcroft’s How To Take Care of Your Dinosaur (2019), and Diego Vaisberg’s Dino (2018) are but three recent examples of the superior treatments available.

A bland but amiable iteration. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: April 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-84886-474-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Maverick Publishing

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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