DINOSAUR HABITAT

Dinosaurs break out of their terrarium confines, taking two brothers for a wild ride, in this junior Jurassic Park from Griffith (Dream Meadow, 1994, etc.). Every kid’s dinosaur daydream becomes reality when 12-year-old Nathan tosses younger brother Ryan’s fossilized egg across the room, where it lands in the center of Ryan’s terrarium. As mist envelops the bedroom, desks and chairs recede and carpets become squishy; the boys find themselves lost in a larger-than-life swampy, volcanic habitat, whose rollicking, rampaging residents are giant dinosaurs and insects. Nathan and Ryan easily accept their situation in the face of immediate danger from an ornery coelophysis, a reptilian home-wrecker who steals a mother hadrosaur’s nest eggs; each brief, subsequent episode introduces a new dinosaur, anticipated by Ryan, who knows the attributes of the plastic creatures from his terrarium. Despite a repetitive plot, Griffith competently varies the action and description of the boys’ alternating thrill and terror in the face of such creatures as a “gigantic, glittering carnivore,” or the threat of a lava-spewing volcano. Some irksome banter between the brothers—Nathan constantly muddling dinosaur names with Ryan just as regularly correcting him—doesn’t detract from the screeches, wails, and shrieks that will certainly entice newly independent readers into the pages. (b&w illustrations, not seen) (Fiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: April 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-688-15324-0

Page Count: 97

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1998

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This kid-friendly satire ably sets claws into a certain real-life franchise.

BAD KITTY GOES ON VACATION

From the Bad Kitty (chapter book) series

A trip to the Love Love Angel Kitty World theme park (“The Most Super Incredibly Happy Place on Earth!”) turns out to be an exercise in lowered expectations…to say the least.

When Uncle Murray wins a pair of free passes it seems at first like a dream come true—at least for Kitty, whose collection of Love Love Kitty merch ranges from branded underwear to a pink chainsaw. But the whole trip turns into a series of crises beginning with the (as it turns out) insuperable challenge of getting a cat onto an airplane, followed by the twin discoveries that the hotel room doesn’t come with a litter box and that the park doesn’t allow cats. Even kindhearted Uncle Murray finds his patience, not to say sanity, tested by extreme sticker shock in the park’s gift shop and repeated exposures to Kitty World’s literally nauseating theme song (notation included). He is not happy. Fortunately, the whole cloying enterprise being a fiendish plot to make people so sick of cats that they’ll pick poultry as favorite pets instead, the revelation of Kitty’s feline identity puts the all-chicken staff to flight and leaves the financial coffers plucked. Uncle Murray’s White, dumpy, middle-aged figure is virtually the only human one among an otherwise all-animal cast in Bruel’s big, rapidly sequenced, and properly comical cartoon panels.

This kid-friendly satire ably sets claws into a certain real-life franchise. (Graphic satire. 8-11)

Pub Date: Dec. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-20808-8

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

It’s not the first time old Ben has paid our times a call, but it’s funny and free-spirited, with an informational load that...

BEN FRANKLIN'S IN MY BATHROOM!

Antics both instructive and embarrassing ensue after a mysterious package left on their doorstep brings a Founding Father into the lives of two modern children.

Summoned somehow by what looks for all the world like an old-time crystal radio set, Ben Franklin turns out to be an amiable sort. He is immediately taken in hand by 7-year-old Olive for a tour of modern wonders—early versions of which many, from electrical appliances in the kitchen to the Illinois town’s public library and fire department, he justly lays claim to inventing. Meanwhile big brother Nolan, 10, tags along, frantic to return him to his own era before either their divorced mom or snoopy classmate Tommy Tuttle sees him. Fleming, author of Ben Franklin’s Almanac (2003) (and also, not uncoincidentally considering the final scene of this outing, Our Eleanor, 2005), mixes history with humor as the great man dispenses aphorisms and reminiscences through diverse misadventures, all of which end well, before vanishing at last. Following a closing, sequel-cueing kicker (see above) she then separates facts from fancies in closing notes, with print and online leads to more of the former. To go with spot illustrations of the evidently all-white cast throughout the narrative, Fearing incorporates change-of-pace sets of sequential panels for Franklin’s biographical and scientific anecdotes. Final illustrations not seen.

It’s not the first time old Ben has paid our times a call, but it’s funny and free-spirited, with an informational load that adds flavor without weight. (Graphic/fantasy hybrid. 9-11)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-101-93406-7

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more