The straightforward plot, uncomplicated illustrations, and humorous appearance of the decorated dinosaur dad make this a...

RORY THE DINOSAUR NEEDS A CHRISTMAS TREE

From the Rory the Dinosaur series

A young dinosaur and his dad search their island for a Christmas tree for their holiday celebration.

In this third outing for the little dinosaur, Rory and his group of animal friends are preparing for Christmas Eve. Rory and his dad have decorated their treetop home with Christmas stockings and garland, but they are missing a Christmas tree. The dinosaurs examine several different trees, but nothing on their lush, green island is quite right for their needs. When father and son return home empty-handed, the other animals arrive for a caroling session, followed by a Christmas story and hot cocoa. Rory’s dad surprises his son on Christmas morning by decorating himself as the Christmas tree, complete with glowing lights and a star-shaped hat. There is a jolly celebration and exchange of gifts before a sweet, concluding hug for the dinosaur duo. Digitally produced illustrations use cartoon-style shapes against plain white backgrounds or minimalist scenes of the dinosaur home and island surroundings. Rory and his dad have only tiny dots for their eyes, so they don’t show much expression, and all the characters have a rather flat and posed feel to them. The story is simple but satisfying, with the caring (and frequently used) theme of enjoying the holiday with friends and family.

The straightforward plot, uncomplicated illustrations, and humorous appearance of the decorated dinosaur dad make this a good choice for younger preschoolers. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-316-31523-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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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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