A surrealistic vision of the Cretaceous Era, with visual puzzles for intrepid explorers to solve and surprises hidden under flaps.
Printed on creamy stock and linked by a tenuous plotline—a young woman named Dongdong, a student at a Beijing art school, receives a mysterious album from the past and falls in—the 10 gamelike “Adventures” challenge viewers on a variety of fronts. First they must traverse a thick “Forest of Illusion” and a difficult maze, then spot a cleverly hidden pterosaur in a canyon packed with dinos before moving on to other challenges, and finally escape a dark cave (printed on acetate sheets) with the help of a detachable “flashlight.” Along with depicting dozens of realistically detailed dinosaurs, Dong takes several side ventures into free-association territory, as in one spread with 18 different “eggs” whose contents, revealed by lifting flaps, range from fanciful monsters to dino-themed clouds, carvings, and pastries. Following two more pages of “egg” flaps at the end that pay droll stylistic tribute to René Magritte, Salvador Dali, Damien Hirst, Yayoi Kusama, and other modern artists, an attached booklet offers subtle visual keys to each Adventure.
A sparkling showcase with plenty to offer both art lovers and dinophiles. (Picture book. 7-10)