For newly hatched dinosaur Dinah, the world is an exciting place. There is so much to see and do.Read more...
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For newly hatched dinosaur Dinah, the world is an exciting place. There is so much to see and do. She tries this STOMP! And she tries that CHOMP! Then she sees a kiss and knows just what she wants to try next. Who can she kiss? And after a few disastrous attempts, can she figure out how to give someone a kiss without whomping, chomping, or stomping them first? Young children will chuckle and cheer when Dinah finds just the right creature for her dinosaur kisses in this funny new picture book from David Ezra Stein.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-05-20
- Reviewer: Staff
Chomp! Stomp! Whomp! Dinah is a wide-eyed, speckled baby dinosaur who wants to try everything, but finesse is not her strong point. She has stubby legs, an eager smile, and a matchless set of jaws. When two tiny creatures kiss each other at Dinah’s feet, Dinah wants to try, too. Her first victim gets a bite on the rear, the next one is flattened by her big dinosaur stompers, and the third gets... eaten. “Whoops,” says Dinah. “Not good.” Only when another baby dinosaur appears does Dinah find a playmate whose life she won’t endanger. “What’s kiss?” the other dinosaur asks, and the two explore affection—rather violently. Stein (Ol’ Mama Squirrel) draws Dinah with a simple, cookie-cutter outline, but her stricken expressions and forthright pursuit of love are plenty complex. Dinah’s swampy world features a sulfurous yellow sky and pint-size volcanoes that explode quietly in the distance. Kids will plunge into the whomping and chomping with glee, and they’ll understand a hero who means to be careful, but who ends up stomping all over things anyway. Ages 2–5. Agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Aug.)
Beware of hastily given smooches
Very young children tend to have great energy, and they have a joyful, infectious sort of hubris to boot. Caldecott Honor-winning author/illustrator David Ezra Stein knows this and embodies this energy in Dinah, a baby dinosaur, the star of his new picture book, Dinosaur Kisses.
Dinah hatches newly from her egg and heads out: “There was so much to see and do.” She stomps and chomps with the grace of a sumo wrestler, but it’s when she sees two prehistoric creatures kissing that she’s determined to try this herself.
The problem, however, is that she lacks the agility to properly pull off a gentle kiss and ends up whomping, chomping and stomping everyone she meets. In one very funny illustration, her kiss turns into a giant bite on the backside of a dinosaur. “Whoops,” she says, as she hangs by her teeth from a brontosaurus rump. Later, she actually swallows another creature in a vain attempt to more carefully use her lips in the act of kissing. There’s a lot of humor in these bumbling moments: In one, she stomps on and flattens a fish walking on two legs. So much for that species. Dinah stomps happily on.
It’s only when another dinosaur baby emerges from a nearby egg that the two come up with their own brand of kissing: more chomping, stomping and whomping. A boisterous head-butt is their version of affection. Great minds think alike.
Infused with lively, attention-grabbing yellows and cheerful, stimulating oranges to match Dinah’s mood, the book is filled with thick black outlines and chunky lettering, including a larger, louder font for the “STOMP!”s and “WHOMP!”s and “KRAK!”s. The book’s dominating horizontal line, as we watch Dinah stomp along the horizon, makes for compelling page turns, also matching the great energy of the book.
It’s big, loud fun for rowdy, raucous toddlers. Mwah!