Dinosaur Woods: Can Seven Clever Critters Save Their Forest Home?


Rojo and his pals have a problem: The forest where they live is about to be torn down and replaced with a Plas-Tic Trees factory. The animals are at a loss, until they come up with a plan to scare away the builders using sticks, burlap, power tools—and a gigantic dinosaur. Have these seven endangered friends got what it takes to save their home? Turns out they do . . . in ways they never expected.

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Rojo and his pals have a problem: The forest where they live is about to be torn down and replaced with a Plas-Tic Trees factory. The animals are at a loss, until they come up with a plan to scare away the builders using sticks, burlap, power tools—and a gigantic dinosaur. Have these seven endangered friends got what it takes to save their home? Turns out they do . . . in ways they never expected.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Developers from the Plas-Tic Trees Factory plan to level a forest, and the seven oddball animals who live there must figure out how to keep their home. The giant dinosaur costume they rig up intimidates the developers, but collapses spectacularly just as news crews arrive (and right after Rojo the fox says, "Nothing can go wrong now"). When the animals inside the dinosaur rig are revealed, the humans realize they're all endangered species. Knot, a woodpecker with a persistent cough, is a "Bronchial Woodpecker," while Milton, a "Drop-Tail Adder," had already been declared extinct. The forest must now be saved to preserve their habitat. McClements's (Baron von Baddie and the Ice Ray Incident) crisp, cut-paper collages and zippy text make the action easy to follow, and tiny asides provide additional laughs ("Watch those feet!" shouts Milton from off-page, as Jimbo the deer apologizes). Kids familiar with environmental issues will appreciate this deft parody, and the message about cooperation will be welcome, too. The very personable cast will make for fine, and funny, read-aloud. Instructions for a dinosaur craft project are included. Ages 3-7. (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Sarah Maury Swan
Rojo the fox, Luke the bear, Milton the snake, Knot the bird, Jimbo the deer, and Richard and Rachel, the twin rabbits, were going to lose their forest home. They could not get anybody to care that they were living there. Finally Rojo got a brilliant idea: they would build a dinosaur. Nobody would cut down their forest if a dinosaur lived there. With scraps of lumber, bits of burlap, vines and sticks, Rojo built a dinosaur. The friends climbed in and each took his place to make the dinosaur move. Rojo provided the roar which scared the construction people away. Newspaper people, scientists, television reporters and all sorts of other people came back to see the dinosaur. Unfortunately, Rojo steered the dinosaur into a cable hookup, which tripped the beast. It fell into a billion pieces and the fox, the bear, the snake, the bird, the deer, and twin rabbits spilled out. However, instead of being chased off for being frauds, the animals were all identified as rare creatures. Rojo is a big-mouthed jinx fox; Knot, a bronchial woodpecker; Luke, a Himalayan frost bear; Rachel and Richard, crabby-faced punching rabbits, Jimbo, a left-footed klutz deer; and Milton, a drop-tail adder. The illustrations really add to this whimsical story and the side comments the animals make are cleverly done. Plus there are instructions on how to make your own dinosaur at the end. Reviewer: Sarah Maury Swan
School Library Journal

K-Gr 2

Seven furry, feathered, and scaly critters create a Trojan Horse-like dinosaur to scare off the nefarious Plas-Tic Trees factory's demolition team from clear-cutting their sylvan paradise. It works, until their jerry-rigged T. rex trips over a cable and collapses-with them inside-and the jig is up. The local news media, already at the site to report on the dinosaur, has a scoop: these animals turn out to be endangered species. With their woods subsequently declared a nature preserve, the friends' teamwork pays off. In this fanciful story line, the animals' various personalities reveal themselves in numerous amusing asides. The cartoonlike mixed-media collage illustrations are full of attractive texture, dimension, and color. The surefire appeal of dinosaurs is further enhanced by the author's instructions on how to build a model with recycled materials. This title's generous trim size, cleanly rendered illustrations, and fast-paced text are perfect for group read-alouds or one-on-one sharing.-Kathleen Finn, St. Francis Xavier School, Winooski, VT

Kirkus Reviews
In this humorous and eco-conscious adventure, seven forest animals face the destruction of their forest home when a "Plas-Tic Trees Factory" buys up the property. But these animals aren't going down without a fight. Inspired by a flier advertising a robotic dinosaur show, they decide to build their own enormous stick-and-burlap dinosaur costume based on the hypothesis that no one would dare destroy a dinosaur's home. Not surprisingly the plan backfires when they trip over a cable and all come tumbling down. Turns out they are special-well, endangered to be exact-and their home is saved. The tongue-in-cheek narration is peppered with funny labels and bits of insider dialogue, such as the bear murmuring, "Is anyone else hot?" or, "Do I hear power tools?" Each character emerges three-dimensionally from the pages, and the revelation of their respective species will set readers howling. McClements's chunky, textured collages work well with the deadpan expressions and couldn't be more apt for the Trojan dinosaur in all its homemade glory (DIY paper-dino instructions appended). We've seen this story before, but we didn't laugh as hard. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416986263
  • Publisher: Beach Lane Books
  • Publication date: 6/9/2009
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 1,399,501
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

George McClements has written and illustrated several picture books, including Baron von Baddie and the Ice Ray Incident, Ridin’ Dinos with Buck Bronco, and Night of the Veggie Monster. He lives in Glendale, California.

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