The Barnes & Noble Review
Set sail with a group of tough-acting dinosaurs -- who realize they're not so seaworthy -- in this fabulously funny picture book from first-time author Deb Lund and Piggie Pie! illustrator Howard Fine. With a look of adventure in their dino-eyes, the Dinosailors happily board their ship, "Ignoring clouds that linger near." Talking "salty sailing stuff," getting their boat in top-top shape, and breathing in the fresh air is loads of fun, but when they meet up with rocky weather, "Their dinofeet miss solid ground." Unfortunately, chowing down on food doesn't calm them down, and after a dino-sized vomit fest due to all the ship's quaking, the seasick sailors head off to sleep and solid ground the next day. With Fine's over-the-top, eye-popping gouache and watercolor illustrations of the childlike dinos feeling jovial, then miserably sick, then jovial again -- combined with Lund's rollicking reptilian rhymes -- this whimsical picture book gets a place at the captain's table. Fun is the only message to take away from this "Dinocrew" (except possibly that there's no place like land) -- and thank your lucky life preserver for that. Matt Warner
A jumbo crew sets sail for fun ("They're hale and hearty-dinotough!/ They talk of salty sailing stuff") in this exuberant picture book, and while all goes well at first ("Heave ho! Heave ho! This life's for me,/ Dinosailing on the sea!"), when foul weather hits, "dinofeet miss solid ground." Fine's (Piggy Pie!) swirling perspectives chronicle the swells from outside and inside the vessel, making justifiable the bout of seasickness that follows (perhaps not so justifiable is the wordless sunset image of them all spewing overboard like so many bile-green fireworks). The sailors sell their boat and swear to the life of landlubbers ("They'd rather dinostroll than float"). Wanderlust is rekindled, however, after a brief spell ashore, and the book leaves the door open for a sequel as the jolly bunch, now transformed into "dinotrainers," chugs off down the track. Fans of the prehistoric lizards will embrace the chipper rhymes, bursting with dino wordplay ("They dinosault like Ping-Pong balls,/ Bumping dinorumps and walls"). Lund's high-spirited humor finds a match in Fine's gouache and watercolor illustrations. Endpapers introduce "Your Dinocrew" (including Captain Hadrosaurus and Cabin Boy Tyrannosaurus rex), who thereafter swagger, stagger and cavort across the pages sporting toothsome grins and ridiculously tiny nautical caps perched on their outsize heads. Young salts and dinosaur devotees will likely be happy to sign on for a cruise with this boisterous bunch. Ages 3-7. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Lund combines two favorite themes, dinosaurs and sailing, with rollicking rhymes for a jolly voyage, hoisting "dinosails." Hitting a squall, however, after eating, the "dinodiners" lose it spectacularly over the side, on a double page with no text needed. Left with wobbly "dinoknees," they don their "dinojammies," brush, floss, and go to bed. They decide they would rather "dinostroll than float." But soon adventure calls them again, and the "dinotravelers" are off again, this time as "Dinotrainers." Fine's double-page gouache-and-watercolor paintings are naturally crowded with the antics of the six different dinosaurs who have been introduced by name, crew position and portrait on the end-papers. It's a bit of fun making the tyrannosaurus rex a cabin boy. But seasickness clearly makes them equal sufferers, all broadly envisioned for a comic effect. A great read-aloud for language play. 2003, Harcourt Children's Books, Ages 3 to 7.
Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-A half dozen dinosaurs head out to sea with humorous (and gross) results. Rhyming text tells the story with a fairly strong rhythm and a usually even flow. Verses are peppered with sometimes clever "dinowords": "Dinosailors need a break./They shiver, ache, and dinoshake./Though winds die down to just a breeze,/They still have wobbly dinoknees." Though overdone on occasion (e.g., "dinosault" for somersault), this device adds to the playful tone of the narrative. Fine's gouache-and-watercolor illustrations add a great deal of humor and appeal. Facial expressions convey the sailors' delight or dismay without detracting from their dinosaur essence. The pictures have plenty of amusing touches, such as the bandanna-wearing, eye-patched stegosaurus and the brachiosaurus with a life jacket and neck ring. After rough waters and too much food, the dinosaurs head for the rails, and a wordless spread depicts six blasts of vomit against a glittering sunset. This image will either repulse or tickle readers, and may render the book a little less comfortable as a storytime choice for some. After giving up on sailing, the "dinobunch" comes up with a new plan, taking over a train on the final page. Nancy Shaw's Sheep on a Ship (Houghton, 1989) is a more subtle example of the animals-at-sea premise, but the attractive illustrations and subject matter should make Dinosailors a hit.-Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Expect dino fans to roar with approval as a crew of huge, toothy saurians thunders up the gangplank, ready to set sail for an exhilarating dino-cruise. Hardly have they cast off, however, when a storm blows up, and their enthusiasm pales along with their complexions: "Their dinotummies slosh and churn. / They groan with every twist and turn. / Their paling faces dinofrown. / 'Heave ho!' They cry. 'It won't stay down!' " Indeed it doesn't, as a green and gross wordless spread reveals. Fine's art isn't (happily, in this case) as finished as usual, but his dinosaurs are both identifiable, and in high spirits or low, easy to identify with. In an ending that segues nicely into John Steven Gurney's Dinosaur Train (2002), barely have the erstwhile sailors staggered back ashore when they're gripped by a new enthusiasm: " 'Dinotrainers, all aboard!' " Readers will happily go along for the ride. (Picture book. 7-9)
From the Publisher
“What a lark! . . . A guaranteed crowd-pleaser. You can never have too many dinosaur books, and this one’s definitely see-worthy.”—The Bulletin
“Exuberant . . . Young salts and dinosaur devotees will likely be happy to sign on for a cruise with this boisterous bunch.”—Publishers Weekly
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Lund combines two favorite themesdinosaurs and sailingwith rollicking rhymes for a jolly voyage, hoisting "dinosails." Hitting a squall, however, after eating, the "dinodiners" lose it spectacularly over the side, on a double page with no text needed. Left with wobbly "dinoknees," they don their "dinojammies," brush, floss, and go to bed. They decide they would rather "dinostroll than float." But soon adventure calls them again, and the "dinotravelers" are off again, this time as "Dinotrainers." Fine's double-page gouache-and-watercolor paintings are naturally crowded with the antics of the six different dinosaurs. The difference between the picture book and the board book version is that the smaller format cannot accommodate the dinosaurs who were introduced by name, crew position and portrait on the end-papers of the original book. It's a bit of fun making the Tyrannosaurus Rex a cabin boy. But seasickness clearly makes them equal sufferers, all broadly envisioned for a comic effect. A great read-aloud for language play and an easy transition from picture to board book format. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz