Catchy rhymes backed by solid information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Fourteen gangly dinosaurs parade through this cheerful new book of light verse. In the final work of Lobel's distinguished career, his winning drawings are accurate without being frightening, and Prelutsky's verse ( Ride a Purple Pelican and The New Kid on the Block ) is rhythmical and funny. Scientific information is filtered through the clever stanzas, and each drawing is accompanied by a pronunciation guide. Most poems contain references to the habits of the creatures described; e.g., ``Stegosaurus was a creature uncontentious and benign,/ and the row of armored plates upon its back/ failed to guard its tender belly or protect its flimsy spine.'' But humor abounds: ``How fortunate then,'' Prelutsky says of the deinonychus who stuffed monsters ``inside of its belly,'' that the creature is ``no longer here/ to eat us like cream cheese and jelly.'' A combination of insight and funny business, further jollied by the illustrations, makes this book irresistible. Ages 4-up. (August)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 2-5 A dinosaur book collaboration between Arnold Lobel and Jack Prelutsky sounds almost too good to be true. And that's the case with this book, which has good intentions but doesn't quite carry through with them. No problem with Lobel's illustrations, which combine just the right amount of fantasy and realism to capture a child's imagination. It's Prelutsky's verse which is the detractor here. True, some of the poems are rollicking and fun, such as these lines describing Deinonychus: ``Ferocity was its predominant trait,/ its habits were purely predacious,/ it ate what it caught, and it caught what it ate/ in the days of the early Cretaceous.'' But for many of these poems, much of the verse seems confined by the subject matter, as if Prelutsky were afraid to let his imagination enhance what he considers factual information. Sadly, some of the information he reiterates about dinosaurs is out of date; the idea of small-brained, prehistoric plodders doomed for extinction is no more. Prelutsky would do well to get hold of a copy of Bakker's Dinosaur Heresies (Morrow, 1986) and update his perception of herbivores and Sauropods, in particular. Thoughtful pronunciation guides help readers tackle colossal dinosaur names, but young readers will still struggle with the many other multisyllabic words that set the cadence of these rhymes. Cathryn A. Camper, Minneapolis Public Library
Read an Excerpt
Stegosaurus was a creature uncontentious and benign,
and the row of armored plates upon its back
failed to guard its tender belly or protect its flimsy spine
Stegosaurus often wound up as a snack.
Stegosaurus blundered calmly through the prehistoric scene,
never causing any other creature woe,
its brain was somewhat smaller than the average nectarine
Stegosaurus vanished many years ago.