TIME FLIES

Cinematically, lightning strikes an ecclesiastical-looking building even before this wordless book's title spread, on which a bird flies into its barrel-vaulted hall. But this is no church: the figures that top these columns are Mesozoic, not medieval, while the dinosaur skeletons in the otherwise empty space suggest a surreal museum. As the bird flies from the ancient bones toward their shadows, cast by the lightning, it's transported (in an arresting visual segue) to the dinosaurs' era. Several entrancing spreads later, it flutters away from a mild-eyed giant to confront one less benign. Snapped up, it flutters down a gullet- -and out past airy ribs, into the museum. Rohmann gives the excursion compelling immediacy by using intense colors and arresting points of view. In his beautifully composed spreads, the museum's glowering sandstone hues are imaginatively played off against the early world's innocent sky blue and vegetable green, the tiny, lithe bird against the lumbering primeval giants, flesh against bone, shadow against substance. A splendid debut. (Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-517-59598-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1994

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WHEN DINOSAURS CAME WITH EVERYTHING

What if one day every merchant in town offered up, and indeed, insisted that shoppers take home a live dinosaur (free) with every purchase? That’s what happens to a boy and his mother in this sweet, absurd story that unfolds very much like a dream—or a nightmare, depending on the reader’s perspective on having a large dinosaur as a pet. In Small’s comical, wonderfully expressive watercolor-and-ink drawings, it’s easy to identify the mother’s reaction to the bonus triceratops (free with a dozen doughnuts); stegosaurus (from the doctor instead of stickers); and pterosaur (from the barber instead of the usual balloon): unmitigated horror, inversely proportionate to her son’s delight. The hulking beasts are irresistibly endearing, though, as they wait patiently, doglike, for their new owners outside all the town establishments and ultimately, once at home in the family’s backyard, prove their worth as household laborers, cleaning gutters and rescuing far-flung Frisbees. In the end, the boy’s friends bring their own newly acquired dinos over to his house for a poolside party—and he knows Mom has truly come around when she calls the baker for more doughnuts. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 25, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-689-86922-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2007

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DINOTRUX

From the Dinotrux series

The tough working trucks in Kate and Jim McMullan’s I Stink! (2002) and sequels look like lightweights next to their brawny prehistoric antecedents in Gall’s rousing, grimy full-bleed spreads. Crushing rocks and trees, flattening smaller creatures and sending diminutive cave people fleeing in pop-eyed panic, a round dozen metal behemoths roll by, from towering Craneosaurus—“CRACK, MUNCH. / Look out birds, it’s time for lunch!”—and the grossly incontinent Blacktopodon to a stampede of heavily armored Semisaurs and the “bully of the jungle,” toothy Tyrannosaurus Trux. Why aren’t these motorized monsters with us today? They are, though in the wake of a mighty storm that left most mired in the mud to rust, the survivors went South and, as a climactic foldout reveals, evolved into the more beneficent vehicles we know and love. Dinotrux ruled their world, and now they’re likely to rule this one too. Bellow on! (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: June 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-316-02777-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2009

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