Unapologetically unscientific, but a lovely way to tuck in young dinosaur fanciers everywhere.

ROCK-A-BYE, DINO

Sweet lullabies meet prehistoric predators and plant eaters in a bedtime board book with loads of charm and color.

From the eye-catching iridescence of the tactile plates on the mother stegasaurus on the cover to the gentle, nursery-rhyme lilt of each dinosaur vignette, this book is a pleasant surprise on many levels. Presented in double-page tableaux pairing a stanza of text with richly colorful and delightfully expressive images of adult-child dinosaur pairs, this book maintains a winning tone throughout. Less a book about dinosaurs than a restful celebration of familial bedtime bonding, it succeeds on sincerity and the natural fascination kids have for dinosaurs. “Rock-a-bye, T. rex, in the treetop, / when your feet stomp, the mountains do rock. / You give a big yawn that means it’s nightfall, / so home you come, dino—claws, teeth and all.” It’s not Shakespeare, but it’s nice. Seven different dinosaur species are represented, Brachiosaurus, Brontosaurus, Allosaurus, and more, as well as Pterodactylus, all in different stages of the bedtime routine. The stylized renderings are not at all scary, and they convey very clearly the love between caregiver and child. Whether it’s hugs or snuggles, reading a bedtime book together, or encouraging young dinos to eat their greens, there’s a disarming level of blissful domesticity that should resonate well with tired would-be dinosaurs.

Unapologetically unscientific, but a lovely way to tuck in young dinosaur fanciers everywhere. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-5640-2

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 21, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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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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Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday.

THE ABCS OF LOVE

Animal parents declare their love for their offspring in alphabetical order.

Each page displays an enormous capital letter, one line of verse with the keyword capitalized, and a loving nonhuman parent gazing adoringly at their baby. “A is for Always. I always love you more. / B is for Butterfly kisses. It’s you that I adore.” While not named or labelled as such, the A is also for an alligator and its hatchling and B is for a butterfly and a butterfly child (not a caterpillar—biology is not the aim of this title) interacting in some way with the said letter. For E there are an elephant and a calf; U features a unicorn and foal; and X, keyed to the last letter of the animal’s name, corresponds to a fox and three pups. The final double-page spread shows all the featured creatures and their babies as the last line declares: “Baby, I love you from A to Z!” The verse is standard fare and appropriately sentimental. The art is cartoony-cute and populated by suitably loving critters on solid backgrounds. Hearts accent each scene, but the theme of the project is never in any doubt.

Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-2095-6

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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