In one of four large board books that use dinosaurs to explain basic concepts, Bryant uses alliteration to give readers a prehistoric tour of the alphabet. Children will learn a good deal of new vocabulary, as well as dinosaur species, as they go: “J is for Jobaria, jumping through the jungle. K is for Kakaru, kicking the kudzu.” Powell’s digital artwork, meanwhile, makes each creature friendly, nonthreatening, and personable—even the leathery, birdlike “Gallimus, grumpy and growling.” Simultaneously available: Colorasaurus, Countasaurus, and Shapeasaurus. Ages 1–4. (Oct.)
- Chelsea Couillard-Smith
Budding paleontologists learn dinosaur names from Allosaurus to Zuniceratops in this large format board book. In alphabetical order, each genus or species is named along with an action or characteristic that reinforces the appropriate letter of the alphabet. The qualities or actions ascribed to each dinosaur vary widely from suitably reptilian activities such as "crunching creepy critters," to more puzzling behaviors like "visiting a viper." Powell takes care to match her digital illustrations to each individual genus or species. At the same time, the brilliant but unnatural colors and cheerful facial expressions fittingly soften these fearsome creatures for a more toddler-friendly experience. Despite the inclusion of many obscure dinosaurs that will have adult readers tongue-tied, the emphasis is clearly not on relaying accurate information; while Brachiosaurus may have "brunch[ed] on branches," it seems unlikely that Yinlong would have "yodel[ed]." Additionally, some of the sentences strain to include the correct letter and end up feeling forced, such as the Iguanodon "impolitely ignoring an inchworm." Still, the bright colors and childlike creatures gleefully prancing across the pages should attract the interest of preschool dinosaur fanatics, as long as they are not hoping to learn anything other than the alphabet.