A bland tale for diaper-clad dinophiles, mildly spiced with visual pleasures and surprises.

READ REVIEW

PAKKUN THE WOLF AND HIS DINOSAUR FRIENDS

Children who dote on silly, googly-eyed monsters need look no further than this imported tale of a wolf chasing an errant chicken egg.

When one of Mrs. Hen’s eggs rolls out of the nest and down a hole, helpful Wolf Pakkun dives down in pursuit and fetches up facing a huge fossil skull. Yikes! But then: “ ‘Ha, ha, ha!’ a little voice laughed, ‘Welcome to the Land of Dinosaurs!’ ” That’s Ptera, a beaky, comically cross-eyed new friend. Kimura stocks said land with oddly proportioned, loudly colored cartoon beasties loosely based on recognizable prehistoric creatures and placed in alien-looking settings featuring strange plants and clumps of jagged volcanoes. Pakkun searches for the egg over land and under the sea until, at the suggestion of Mrs. Saurapod [sic], he comes at last to a large pile of eggs—all of which hatch into a teeming, diverse swarm of smiling baby dinos plus, for sharper-eyed viewers to spot, one tiny chick. The 1982 original’s transition to this edition has not been smoothly accomplished as, along with uncertain spelling (see above) and switches at odd moments between present tense and past, the text starts up on the title page and runs to a final sentence shoehorned onto the last page with the copyright fine print. But the storyline is too spare to be more than a pretext for a parade of daffy dinosaurs anyway.

A bland tale for diaper-clad dinophiles, mildly spiced with visual pleasures and surprises. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: May 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-940842-04-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Museyon

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2015

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A snore for all but the most avid toddler paleontologists.

NIGHT NIGHT, DINO-SNORES

After busy days spent doing what dinos do, nine colorful dinosaurs happily bed down for the night protected by a loving adult dino.

Each sleepy dinosaur inhabits a fanciful environment, though it is unclear whether they are based on known information about where dinosaurs lived. There is nothing ferocious or threatening about these dinosaurs. Nor are they likely to excite young paleontologists, as the purpose of the book is to convince young children to go to sleep, just like each of the dinosaurs. The singsong-y verses don’t really work as poetry. Uneven meter makes for an awkward read-aloud experience, and forced rhymes (“Mom” and “calm”; “leaves” and “trees”) are a bit of a stretch. Similarly, touch-and-feel elements added to one of the dinosaurs on each spread feel arbitrary and are more distraction than successful additions. Even toddlers will wonder why only one of each set of dinosaurs has this tactile element. Each spread ends with a “Good night” followed by an alliterative nickname: “Dozing Diplos”; “Resting Raptors”; “Tiny Pteros”; “Snoozing Spinos.” This affectation will turn off adults with a low tolerance for cute and potentially confuse readers just beginning to learn dinosaur names.

A snore for all but the most avid toddler paleontologists. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-680105-48-3

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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Young dino fans will enjoy it, though their grown-ups may not.

NOISY DINOSAURS

From the My First Touch and Feel Sound Book series

What sounds did dinosaurs make? We don't really know.

Litton suggests some possibilities while introducing sophisticated vocabulary in a board-book format. Five dinosaurs are featured: Tyrannosaurus rex, Stegosaurus, Pterodactyl, Diplodocus, and Triceratops. For each species there is a brief description that highlights its distinctive features, followed by an invitation to hear and repeat the dinosaur's sound. There is no explanation for why scientists think T. Rex “roared,” Stegosaurus “howled,” Pterodactyl “screeched,” Diplodocus “growled,” or Triceratops “grunted.” The author tries to avoid sexism, carefully referring to two of the creatures as “she,” but those two are also described in stereotypically less-ferocious terms than the male dinos. The touch point on the Pterodactyl is a soft section of wing. Readers are told that Diplodocus “loved splashing in swamps,” and the instruction is to “tickle her tummy to hear her growl,” implying that this giant creature was gentle and friendly. None of this may matter to young paleontologists, who will enjoy finding the tactile section on each creature that triggers the sound. Despite extensive directions in small print, most parents and libraries won't bother to change the battery secured by a tiny hex screw, but while the battery lasts, the book will get lots of play.

Young dino fans will enjoy it, though their grown-ups may not. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-58925-207-3

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Aug. 5, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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