It takes a dinosaur-themed roller coaster to show a kid that he has the right stuff. After passing muster with the "You must be this tall" sign, the young hero climbs aboard-albeit more reluctantly than his eager dad (who, in typical goofy dad fashion, is wearing socks with his sandals). In Luthardt's (Larabee) paintings, however, the duo undergoes a mien switch after the coaster's first big drop. For the text, "Sailing at the speed of sound./ Zooming, racing toward the ground," Dad gets an "anywhere but here" look on his face, while his son responds with the wide grins and arms-over-head posture of an aficionado. Newcomer Adams's story unspools in singsongy couplets with plenty of heavy-duty action words ("Lurching, tilting up again./ Jerking, rumbling round the bend"). Luthardt doesn't offer the kind of visceral thrills to be found in Marla Frazee's recent Roller Coaster, but his amusement-park palette and boldly geometric acrylics pop with energy, and he's particularly good at capturing the swooping black track. The ending is predictable, but it's a triumph that youngsters won't mind reliving several times over. Ages 2-6. (Mar.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
PreS-Gr 1-A little boy is finally tall enough to ride the Dino Coaster. His enthusiastic father coaxes the reluctant child up the stairs and into the car. When they reach the top and begin the dizzying descent, however, the roles are reversed, with the child obviously thrilled and Dad clearly not. When the ride is over, the boy rushes to get in line again while his father rests on a bench with a bemused expression on his face. The text, which consists of brief rhyming couplets, successfully carries the action. Luthardt's quirky acrylic cartoons make effective use of bright colors and crisp lines and should have substantial child appeal. While not an essential purchase, the story could be an effective discussion starter for overcoming fears.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.