Oh what a happy day when two of my favorite picture book authors/illustrators have come together to make this book. “Drywater Gulch had a toad problemOh what a happy day when two of my favorite picture book authors/illustrators have come together to make this book. “Drywater Gulch had a toad problem.” And since Drywater Gulch looks like a town nestled in the midst of Goblin Valley State Park in Utah, the pesky toads that are a problem are not the toads that hop around…these toads are the typical Western outlaws that “never-say-thank-you outlaw kind of toad.” And quite the toad problem it is. These three rough, tough outlaws just about scared the pants off of everyone in Drywater Gulch. Thankfully “hope rode into town. [enter Kid Sheriff riding into town] Slowly. On a tortoise. [dramatic page turn] Give him a minute.” And although the town initially doesn’t believe that Kid Sheriff can help at all, he turns out to be smarter than all three of the toads put together…and the rest of the town too. It is amazing what a kid can do, eh?
So, the brilliant story is one that kids will enjoy (and I desperately wish I could tell at a storytime tomorrow), but what about the illustrations? Do not worry. The illustrations are in the brilliant hands of Lane Smith. Are there bits of money and coins that fly out of the bank explosion? Check. Are there layers upon layers of foreground and background images that perfectly frame the main illustrations of the characters? Double check. Are there detailed drawings of dinosaurs that could destroy a Western town? Triple check. Seriously, these illustrations are masterfully crafted so that readers could spend hours looking at all the details as they laugh along with the storyline.
This is one of my all-time favorite books for 2014. Here’s to hoping that there are more wonderful books in store for both Bob Shea and Lane Smith. The world needs more stories from them both....more
If you happen to have a dinosaur but don’t know quite what to do with it…there are a lot of options. From being a handy can opener to being a kite, AnIf you happen to have a dinosaur but don’t know quite what to do with it…there are a lot of options. From being a handy can opener to being a kite, And some of the suggestions are quite fun to imagine (like a large dinosaur looking at a robber’s face when being a “burglar alarm” to the dinosaur stomping on coffee, nuts, and potatoes to grind, crack, or mash them all). In fact, the illustrations are so fun that readers will need to look through the book multiple times just to see all the fun details. And then there is the fun bit at the end when readers are invited to think about what they would do if they didn’t have a dinosaur around (or if they happened to have a different pet like an octopus or a porcupine or Sasquatch or whatnot). This would be a fun story to read at a dinosaur story time (especially if paired with When Dinosaurs Came with Everything by Elise Broach)....more
In this newest edition of the Dinosaur books Dinosaur is headed to school. And he is roaring just as much as ever. But because it is school there areIn this newest edition of the Dinosaur books Dinosaur is headed to school. And he is roaring just as much as ever. But because it is school there are some fun subtleties that let you know it is a school setting. For example the title page looks like it is on the lined paper school kids use to learn how to write (the type with solid lines at the top and the bottom with a dashed line in the middle). Also, there are a lot of illustrations where it is just an outline of the characters with a few added extras (like googly eyes) that give the story a feeling of happy kindergarten school days (especially with the scribbled drawings that perfectly showcase fun emotions typical of children in a style similar to what a child could draw–if the child could draw as well as Bob Shea). Plus there are fun little details like monster Buddy on the lunchbox that will delight fans of Bob Shea. As usual I love how there are some drawings and some photos of different objects (like the different lunch foods) that give the illustrations depth. And every grownup who reads this will absolutely laugh at the expressions of children who are told to clean up. The more I read Bob Shea books the more I have to look to see those extra details that make me love his books. And this new Dinosaur book is another happy edition to add to my story time booklists....more
If you haven’t ever read one of Jane Yolen’s dinosaur books…you need to! These are so great. And this is another in the series. I love how these booksIf you haven’t ever read one of Jane Yolen’s dinosaur books…you need to! These are so great. And this is another in the series. I love how these books explain different situations where a toddler might want to throw a tantrum. But instead they show how silly dinosaurs look when being angry or whatnot. Then they show just what a good idea might be when feeling angry or upset.
Once again the text is fun. And the illustrations totally make this! There are so many great details in the background of the pictures. And I am super impressed with how much expression can be shown on the gigantic dinosaurs. Plus, the names of the different dinosaurs are listed on each page so young readers (and their parents) can know exactly just what kind of dinosaur is shown. This is one of those classic series that every toddler should have the privileged of getting to know....more
Dinah is a dinosaur that just hatched out of her egg. As she goes around exploring the world she does a lot of things. She tries a STOMP! and a CHOMP!Dinah is a dinosaur that just hatched out of her egg. As she goes around exploring the world she does a lot of things. She tries a STOMP! and a CHOMP! But then she sees two creatures kiss. She wants to try that. Only, you have to have another to kiss with. Sh goes and tries to kiss one prehistoric creature only to end up doing a WHOMP! After a few more accidental CHOMP! and STOMP! attempts, she realizes that she must just pucker her lips to kiss. But she accidentally eats the creature she was trying to kiss. (I guess those lips just were too close to something so tasty.) Dinah goes back to her egg to think about how she might be able to kiss someone. Then…another egg hatches. Then Dinah teaches the new dinosaur baby all about how to CHOMP!, STOMP! and WHOMP! for a dinosaur “Kiss!”
This is a fun little story with quite the character of a dinosaur. Dinah is great, and little kids at my next dinosaur story time are going to love her. I love how thick, black outlines hold together a colorful splattering of a dinosaur. And The little dinosaurs are so expressive (as are the frightened creatures Dinah is trying to “kiss”). And the way the STOMP! and CHOMP! and WHOMP! are written in gigantic capital letters with bold strokes means that kids are sure to want to STOMP! and CHOMP! and WHOMP! right along with the story. Once again I am pleased with the new David Ezra Stein book. His work makes me smile (or WHOMP! depending upon my mood). Lovely....more
Ruth Ann liked going to the Museum of Natural History. Mostly because she loved natural history, and the museum naturally had quite a bit of history tRuth Ann liked going to the Museum of Natural History. Mostly because she loved natural history, and the museum naturally had quite a bit of history to explore. But her favorite part was the dinosaur exhibit. She knew just about everything there was to know about dinosaurs. So when she discovered a new exhibit, she was very excited. When she walked in a Large Tyrannosaurus Rex greeted her with a “Hello, I’m Linus!” But Ruth Ann knew everything about dinosaurs, so she knew that a T. Rex was a meat eater and shouldn’t be friendly with a potential meal. But Linus was friendly. He showed her around, introduced her to other dinosaur friends, and even saved her from some pesky velociraptors. When Ruth Ann questions Linus about it he says he is a vegetarian T. Rex who would rather be popular and have friends than to eat them–and would save his “fierce” nature for when creatures like the velociraptors come after people like Ruth Ann. So, Ruth Ann learns a bit more about dinosaurs, and enjoys her visit with Linus. After a visit to the gift shop, Ruth Ann decides to find out what other new exhibits the Museum of Natural History has.
This is a fun story. Especially because I think my story time kiddos will enjoy a story with a “nice” T. Rex. (Even though that isn’t all that realistic…at least Ruth Ann points out how unrealistic it is to have a vegetarian T. Rex around.) And I really like the illustrations. The one spread where Linus has his head on the ground so that he can be almost eye-to-eye with Ruth Ann is especially great (and I love how large Linus is compared to Ruth Ann…and how sharp his teeth are even though they have a few leafy veggies hanging from them). Then are the funny pictures where a T. Rex with somewhat short arms are holding carrots or other vegetables to put in his big mouth (let’s just say that small arms probably make eating veggies a bit tricky). But mostly I like this book because Linus is just such a fun character. And really, who can’t love a nice, big, blue T. Rex? Especially when it seems that all he wants is to be friends with everyone?...more
In this prehistoric rendition of the Three Billy Goats Gruff, three triceratops brothers (with the last name of “Tuff”) see some lush, green plants onIn this prehistoric rendition of the Three Billy Goats Gruff, three triceratops brothers (with the last name of “Tuff”) see some lush, green plants on the other side of the valley. They want to go and eat…but there is a big, bad tyrannosaurus rex blocking their way. The smallest brother (named Stanley) heads down first. Of course the T-Rex decides to wait for the option of a bigger meal. Then Rufus heads over and tells Rex about a bigger brother to keep from becoming a meal. Finally the oldest and the biggest triceratops brother comes down to the valley. The T-Rex tries to eat him, but with one powerful blow from Bob’s tail, the T-Rex is sent far away. And the three triceratops (along with many other vegetarian dinosaurs) get to eat to their heart’s content.
This is a fun play on a classic story. And what kids won’t love the fact that it is all about dinosaurs?!? The big black lines around the dinosaurs and simple textured colors will give young readers loads to look at as well as clearly showing them what is going on. However, readers who don’t know that this is a play on the Billy Goats GRUFF will wonder why the triceratops are named TUFF. But with the T-Rex flying into a volcano, most kids will only care about how cool Bob is for a big brother....more
This is one of those picture books that has very few words and the kids will get to explain what happens themselves. (I love those. Especially when IThis is one of those picture books that has very few words and the kids will get to explain what happens themselves. (I love those. Especially when I use them in story time and continually ask “what happened?”) Basically a dinosaur is looking for lunch (a smaller dino). The smaller dino is looking for a snack (the smallest dino). The smallest dino is looking for a bite (a bug). Then the smallest dino eats the bug. The smaller dino eats the smallest dino. The dinosaur (who looks like a t-rex) eats the smaller dino. But the bug buzzes in the smallest dino’s stomach. Which creates a train reaction of everyone burping. And the dinos and the bug all fly out of the respective mouths (and the face on the bug is just perfect).
I like the simple text and the simple illustrations (lots of big black lines outline relatively few colors on the animals and the backgrounds are all one solid color). That means that the focus will be perfectly placed on the what-if storyline. Loads of room for kids to figure out what is really happening so they can practice their narrative skills. Nice....more
I really liked the rhythm of the first few pages...but then it just didn't sound as consistent as I would have liked. Still, by putting dinosaurs, traI really liked the rhythm of the first few pages...but then it just didn't sound as consistent as I would have liked. Still, by putting dinosaurs, transportation, and birthdays together there will be loads of kids that will love this book....more
I really like this book. It is a board book that teaches kids about shapes. Some colorful dinosaurs hatch out of OVAL eggs. Then they go and explore tI really like this book. It is a board book that teaches kids about shapes. Some colorful dinosaurs hatch out of OVAL eggs. Then they go and explore the dinosaur world around them and discover all sorts of other shapes: circles, squares, triangles, crescents, diamonds, etc. Even the youngest readers will enjoy looking at these pictures and pointing out the dinosaurs.
I like how this is a board book, so it is perfect for the intended audience. I also like how the discussed shapes have an extra heavy, black outline around the shapes so that youngsters can see the shape stand out against the other dinosaur backdrops. And I particularly enjoyed how the book comes full circle, indicating that eventually these young dinos (and the kids reading about them) will grow up and will then be able to help younger dinosaurs understand about shapes as well....more
I love these Dinosaur books! In everyone I am just happy to read them aloud and gaze at all the detail in the brilliant illustrations. Like with any oI love these Dinosaur books! In everyone I am just happy to read them aloud and gaze at all the detail in the brilliant illustrations. Like with any other “dinosaur” book, the question is asked as to how a dinosaur would act. The first half tells of dinosaurs that are more on the “naughty” list with their actions, temper tantrums and attitudes. Then the second part of the book goes over how good “dinosaurs” behave when amidst the holiday hullabaloo. I love that like the other books this one also has the names of the dinosaurs listed somewhere in the illustrations. I enjoy seeing the juxtaposition of the “naughty” and “nice” dinos. This book is just the right amount of gentle guidance without being “preachy” to have little “dinosaurs” on their best behavior at the holiday time of year–something that isn’t always easy....more
Yeah, cool concept! And you can't go wrong with Steve Jenkins illustrations. Or dinosaurs. This will be a fun book to recommend next summer with the DYeah, cool concept! And you can't go wrong with Steve Jenkins illustrations. Or dinosaurs. This will be a fun book to recommend next summer with the Dig Into Reading theme that goes along with dinosaurs!...more
Once again I am pleased with the "How do Dinosaurs" books. Jane Yolen is just brilliant. And the illustrations by Mark Teague, they just make me wantOnce again I am pleased with the "How do Dinosaurs" books. Jane Yolen is just brilliant. And the illustrations by Mark Teague, they just make me want to be part of a dinosaur family....more
Two brothers are playing with some blocks when a thunder storm starts outside. The younger brother gets scared and wants to hide from what sounds likeTwo brothers are playing with some blocks when a thunder storm starts outside. The younger brother gets scared and wants to hide from what sounds like "lions waking." Various members of the family tell Brannon that the thunder is only "a big cat purring" or "angels bowling in heaven" or other such things. Each explanation only causes Brannon to run and hide again, just as scared as ever. Only when his older brother tells him that it is "dinosaurs stomping around" does Brannon get excited. Because Brannon knows all about dinosaurs, and he really likes them! In fact "I LOVE dinosaurs," he says.
This is a sweet story about how something scary can become something not-quite-so-scary when someone who is older and wiser (even by just a couple of years) helps the little become brave. The illustrations are full of lots of dinosaur colors with soft-fluffy shapes that resemble the curves of clouds. What a fun story to help calm fears of thunder and lightning....more