DINOSAURS FOREVER

Twenty-one dinosaur poems and dozens of humorous drawings to delight dinosaur lovers of all ages will make this new collection a real favorite. Adults be warned: children will want these poems read aloud. Consult the helpful pronunciation guide before attempting such poems as “The Awful Three,” which includes the verse: “The first was Rhamphorhynchus, / Hardly longer than your arm, / A grisly little monster / With very little charm.” While the rhymes are sometimes forced—for example, “ungracious” “Cretaceous”—it's hard not to smile at the toothy vaudevillian T. Rex with straw hat and cane doing a soft shoe. The picture book set will giggle at the variety of urban dinosaurs in costume and clothing, lumbering though the city with Walkman, cell phone, running shoes, and skateboards. The author of Ten Sly Piranhas (1993) presents the familiar dinosaurs: T. Rex, Stegosaurus, Apatosaurus, and Triceratops, and the less familiar Gorgosaurus. While children will pick their own favorites, the last poem, “Dinosaurs Forever,” will speak to all: “… But as long as there are those of us / Who love ‘The Beast that Roars,’ / No matter what the experts say— / There will always be Dinosaurs!” (Poetry. 5-9)

Pub Date: May 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-8037-2114-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2000

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IGGY PECK, ARCHITECT

A repressive teacher almost ruins second grade for a prodigy in this amusing, if overwritten, tale. Having shown a fascination with great buildings since constructing a model of the Leaning Tower of Pisa from used diapers at age two, Iggy sinks into boredom after Miss Greer announces, throwing an armload of histories and craft projects into the trash, that architecture will be a taboo subject in her class. Happily, she changes her views when the collapse of a footbridge leaves the picnicking class stranded on an island, whereupon Iggy enlists his mates to build a suspension bridge from string, rulers and fruit roll-ups. Familiar buildings and other structures, made with unusual materials or, on the closing pages, drawn on graph paper, decorate Roberts’s faintly retro cartoon illustrations. They add an audience-broadening element of sophistication—as would Beaty’s decision to cast the text into verse, if it did not result in such lines as “After twelve long days / that passed in a haze / of reading, writing and arithmetic, / Miss Greer took the class / to Blue River Pass / for a hike and an old-fashioned picnic.” Another John Lithgow she is not, nor is Iggy another Remarkable Farkle McBride (2000), but it’s always salutary to see young talent vindicated. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-8109-1106-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2007

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DOG HEAVEN

Rylant's debut as a picture book illustrator (not to be confused with her board book debut as a collagist in The Everyday Books, 1993) offers sweet comfort to all who have lost loved ones, pets or otherwise. ``When dogs go to Heaven, they don't need wings because God knows that dogs love running best. He gives them fields. Fields and fields and fields.'' There are geese to bark at, plenty of children, biscuits, and, for those that need them, homes. In page- filling acrylics, small, simply brushed figures float against huge areas of bright colors: pictures infused with simple, doggy joy. At the end, an old man leans on a cane as he walks up a slope toward a small white dog: ``Dogs in Dog Heaven may stay as long as they like. . . .They will be there when old friends show up. They will be there at the door.'' Pure, tender, lyrical without being overearnest, and deeply felt. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-590-41701-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1995

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