…Florian's artin gouache, collage, colored pencil, stencils, etc.is gorgeous and fun.
The New York Times
Florian's free-flowing, witty collection of poems and collages about dinosaurs is a giganotosaurus delight-perhaps his best work ever. The poems marry facts with a poet's eye for detail: the Brachiosaurus was "longer than a tennis court" and the Ankylosaurus says, "We like spikes and we like scutes/ (Bony plates we wear as suits)." Small experts will appreciate the "Glossarysaurus" at the end, but the heart of the book is in its humor, the spontaneity of both illustrations and poems, and Florian's slightly askew view of the Mesozoic creatures. A Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton spews cutout images of things a T. rex might actually have eaten, along with a tumble of other things (newspaper clippings, a boot, a building), while the text ends with a great pun ("I find it terrific/ That it's T-rex-tinct"). The tiny (20-inch) Micropachycephalosaurus stares up at a huge display of his enormous name spelled out phonetically, in illuminated caps and as a rhombus. Art and text will encourage aspiring paleontologists and poets to parse these pages again and again. Ages 6-up. (Mar.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Ingeniously created poems and paintings prompt the reader to visualize eighteen ancient, extinct creatures in a whole new way. Florian draws us in with a poem on "The Age of Dinosaurs" and an illustration showing dinosaurs peering out the windows of a museum. How do we know it is a museum? Look closely for clues. The illustrations are complex, an integral part of the poem, and yet childlike in appeal and appearance. They were created using "gouache, collage, colored pencils, stencils, dinosaur dust, and rubber stamps on primed brown paper bags." The usual suspects, such as the T. Rex, Stegosaurus, and Triceratops are included, but so are the Minmi, the Troodon, and the Micropachycephalosaurus. The final poem presents various theories of extinction. Turn the page for a "Glossarysaurus," where Florian presents additional information on each dinosaur. Dinosaur museums and their web sites are included. For those who want more information, there is a brief but fine bibliography. Florian is masterful in his wordplay and visual composition. Fun and informational, this is pure creativity for the eyes and ears, whether you are a dinosaur fanatic or not. Reviewer: Sharon Salluzzo
Set in spreads of dreamy dinosaur art, these 20 playful paleontologic poems overflow with wit and useful information. "What kept the Spinosaurus warm/When it was colder than the norm?/Spines much like a solar panel./(And long underwear of flannel.)" Sandwiched between two general poems entitled "The Age of Dinosaurs" and "The End of Dinosaurs," the entries describe individual species. Each selection includes a helpful pronunciation guide as well as the meaning behind the dinosaur's name. In muted colors with unexpected details, the ethereal artwork differs from the bold, aggressive pictures found in many dinosaur books. Created on paper bags with a variety of media, this collage art expands on the humor found in the verses. Back matter includes a "Glossarysaurus" that provides more information for each dinosaur and details about its extinction, and a page of dinosaur museums and fossil Web sites. This smart marriage of dinosaurs and poetry will delight a wide audience.-Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, MA
In the fine tradition of Jack Prelutsky's Tyrannosaurus Was a Beast, illustrated by Arnold Lobel (1988), a set of dinophile-pleasing verses penned by a poet with a rare knack for wordplay and silly rhymes finds apt visual setting fronting playful images of monsters rearing up from extinction to grin toothily at young viewers. Sandwiched between poems about the Age of Dinosaurs and its sudden end, Florian parades 18 creatures, from Pterosaurs ("They were not ptame. / They were ptenacious- / From the Ptriassic / Pto the Cretaceous.") to T. Rex, then closes with an informative "Glossarysaurus," plus museum and source lists. Spectacularly depicted (as is his frequent custom) on paper bags in crayon and collage, the poet's dinos are easily recognizable despite being freely rendered and, often, semitransparent. Collage elements add to the visual excitement, often to great effect-a skeletal, iPod-sporting T. Rex prepares to chow down on a heap of cut-out dinosaur bits-and always with enormous playfulness. Children fixated on explicit gore may be left unmoved, but to everyone else this will be a dino-delight-especially when read aloud. (Picture book/poetry. 5-10)