HOW BIG WERE DINOSAURS?

The title question is answered engagingly with comparisons of a handful of dinosaurs to objects and animals children will readily recognize.

Velociraptor, spreading terror in audiences since the first Jurassic Park movie, was only the size of a dog, though still pretty vicious. Stegosaurus was as heavy as three cows, but the plates on its back made it look much bigger. Argentinosaurus was the length of four school buses, but at least it was a vegetarian—it ate trees. Images of these dinos next to children, adults and common objects (note the SUV crushed by Ankylosaurus) on white backgrounds are not only amusing, but give a real sense of scale. All the people, animals and dinosaurs that populate these pages appear again, to scale, in a wonderful double foldout. Colors are clean and clear, outlines are crisp. Judge also describes how she figured out the relative sizes of the dinosaurs by studying fossils and skeletons at various museums, and she offers a very brief book and website bibliography. Perhaps a favorite might be Tsintaosaurus, which had a spike “like a giant unicorn” growing out of its head. Dino-philes, assemble! (Informational picture book. 7-10)

 

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-59643-719-7

Page Count: 46

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 23, 2013

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A skimpy alternative to Adrian Lister and Martin Ursell’s Ice Age Tracker’s Guide (2010).

TOBY AND THE ICE GIANTS

A small bison meets some ice age megafauna in this prehistoric ramble.

Assuring his mom that “I’m big now. I’m not scared!” little Toby scampers off. He collides with a grumpy woolly rhinoceros, introduces himself to a Megatherium, wonders at a woolly mammoth’s tusks, and sidles anxiously past a handful of other Pleistocene creatures—including a group of fur-clad humans—before gamboling back to safety. Along with exchanged greetings, each encounter comes with a side box of descriptive facts and comments, plus a small image of the animal posed next to a human (in modern dress) for comparison. Young viewers will marvel at the succession of massive ruminants and predators, which Lillington renders in watercolors with reasonable accuracy, if anthropomorphic facial expressions. He offers measurements in metric units only (except for humans, whose weight is opaquely designated “average”). Rather anticlimactically, he caps his gallery with a perfunctory, unillustrated list of “some other amazing ice age animals that Toby didn’t get to meet!”

A skimpy alternative to Adrian Lister and Martin Ursell’s Ice Age Tracker’s Guide (2010). (Informational picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 11, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-909263-58-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Flying Eye Books

Review Posted Online: April 1, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2015

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A generous slice of wacky, with savory bits of good detective work melted in.

THE CASE OF THE NIBBLED PIZZA

From the Dino Detective and Awesome Possum, Private Eyes series , Vol. 1

Two young sleuths set out to identify a mysterious pepperoni thief in this series opener.

The exciting prospect of a real case at last has violet T. rex Dino Detective rousting her marsupial sibling sidekick Awesome Possum out of bed and racing downstairs with potted Plant—silent partner but also occasional snide narrator—to track down the malefactor who has stripped Grandma Thunderclaps’ homemade pizza of its tasty topping. Tantalizing distractions include a secret agent lunch lady fairy and overheard schemes being laid by mice in an array of disguises from clown to alien. Notwithstanding these, the dedicated gumshoes forge on in their investigation—until, frustratingly, every suspect is apparently ruled out by either logic or alibi. But in true whodunit fashion Bentley tucks in clues from the first page on…which Dino at last puts together to catch the culprit red (sauce) handed. Carping pizza purists may object that the victimized “Sicilian” looks more round than rectangular in some views, but the cartoon images of suspect dossiers and multispecies cast members reflect the tale’s surreal character and manic pacing nicely. They share space with the well-leaded text on nearly every page. Grandma and the lunch lady, the only figures with human faces, present White.

A generous slice of wacky, with savory bits of good detective work melted in. (Mystery. 7-10)

Pub Date: March 9, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-09348-1

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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