A crowd-pleasin’ knee-slapper that’ll have ’em rolling in the aisles, yessirree.

KID SHERIFF AND THE TERRIBLE TOADS

A young sheriff comes riding high—atop a tortoise—toward the troubled, “cumin-scented” town of Drywater Gulch. Just give him a minute.

How to get the Toads—not the four-legged kind, but three lawless brothers saddled with a silly name and a yen to “steal your gold, kiss your cattle, and insult your chili”—into the hoosegow? Avowed dino-expert Ryan knows just the ploy: blame the big hole blasted into the bank on T. Rex and the stagecoach robbery on Velociraptors. The cattle-kissin’? Why, Triceratops, of course. Annoyed to no end at not getting proper credit for their crimes (“Why I smooched them beefy lips my own self!”), the Toads rudely occupy the clink: “HA! You can blow them dinersores out your nose Sheriff, this here jail is full up of real bonafide criminals!” “Hooray!” cheer the townsfolk. Sheriff Ryan just saddles up his reptilian steed and rides off into the sunset…over the next three days. The hulking Toads cut properly brutish figures in Smith’s angular, sand-and-brown Wild West scenes, while their pint-sized nemesis sports the requisite white chaps and a huge white hat.

A crowd-pleasin’ knee-slapper that’ll have ’em rolling in the aisles, yessirree. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 7, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-59643-975-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2014

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Formulaic but not stale…even if it does mine previous topical material rather than expand it.

HOW DO DINOSAURS SHOW GOOD MANNERS?

From the How Do Dinosaurs…? series

A guide to better behavior—at home, on the playground, in class, and in the library.

Serving as a sort of overview for the series’ 12 previous exercises in behavior modeling, this latest outing opens with a set of badly behaving dinos, identified in an endpaper key and also inconspicuously in situ. Per series formula, these are paired to leading questions like “Does she spit out her broccoli onto the floor? / Does he shout ‘I hate meat loaf!’ while slamming the door?” (Choruses of “NO!” from young audiences are welcome.) Midway through, the tone changes (“No, dinosaurs don’t”), and good examples follow to the tune of positive declarative sentences: “They wipe up the tables and vacuum the floors. / They share all the books and they never slam doors,” etc. Teague’s customary, humongous prehistoric crew, all depicted in exact detail and with wildly flashy coloration, fill both their spreads and their human-scale scenes as their human parents—no same-sex couples but some are racially mixed, and in one the man’s the cook—join a similarly diverse set of sibs and other children in either disapprobation or approving smiles. All in all, it’s a well-tested mix of oblique and prescriptive approaches to proper behavior as well as a lighthearted way to play up the use of “please,” “thank you,” and even “I’ll help when you’re hurt.”

Formulaic but not stale…even if it does mine previous topical material rather than expand it. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-36334-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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Jack and Dexter have become a beloved duo, and the dino’s behavior-modeling sure goes down easily.

VACATION FOR DEXTER!

From the Dexter T. Rexter series

Jack and his over-the-top, animate, orange T. Rex toy are back, this time tackling their fears of flying.

Jack and Dexter are very excited for vacation—they are going “someplace exotic called FLOR-I-DA.” But when the car stops too soon and Dexter realizes they are at the airport, even his vacation accessories can’t keep him from losing his cool; everyone knows T. Rex arms are too short for flying. But just as Dexter really starts to melt down, he gets a glimpse of Jack and realizes he needs to take care of his boy. Dexter pulls out all the stops in calming Jack, and the duo sing their song (with an airplane twist), peer out the window, and enjoy the movie and all the cookies the “nice lady” plies them with. Ward’s orange dino continues to break the fourth wall, though he’s a mite calmer than usual in this outing. The illustrations are just as laugh-out-loud funny as ever, with the toy’s expressions stealing every scene. Jack, who has brown skin, sits in a window seat next to a girl/woman who shares his coloring; across the aisle are a man and a woman with a baby who also all have brown skin. The relationships are not clear, though the text states Jack is not sitting with his parents.

Jack and Dexter have become a beloved duo, and the dino’s behavior-modeling sure goes down easily. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 16, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5420-4320-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

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