Dinosaurs and Life in Space–c'mon, what could be a funnier combination? And what a rip-snorting rocket ride it is in this three-story collection chronicling the hilarious adventures of the dino-denizens of Planet Meatball and Plant Lettuce.
For kids ready to move into read-alone books, this provides perfect fuel for developing independent reading, with a galaxy of laughs to boot!
THE HORN BOOK
Two graphic comic-panel books for beginning readers use bright colors and high-energy cartoons to impart very different content. In Hiccup! nerves combined with a huge, hasty breakfast give Jamie, an anthropomorphized rabbit, a case of hiccups that jeopardize his role in the school play. His friend Jenna solicits advice, resulting in increasingly wild remedies, but just before the curtain goes up she realizes she holds the power to cure Jamie herself. The accessible text and easy-to-follow panels flow logically with occasional multisyllable challenges sprinkled in, such as the word jalapeño. Meanwhile, Dinosaurs in Space creates a wacky dinosaur alternate history with the premise that dinosaurs went galactic instead of dying out when a “giant rock fell from outer space.” Its three short stories explore life in the Dinosaur Galaxy. Two warring planets of carnivores and herbivores settle their differences when a peacemaker orders a hamburger with lettuce in one; in another, the dinosaurs panic at an alien (human) sighting. In the final story, a competitive dinosaur nearly lands himself in a black hole. Though the vocabulary in Dinosaurs may challenge new readers, many will delight in its slapstick humor and visuals. Hiccup! may appeal more to those who like stories grounded in reality. Its cartoons are energetic but uncluttered, while the panels and speech bubbles in Dinosaurs are more chaotic. The books’ different temperaments recommend them to a range of young comic-book readers.
Pranas Naujokatis is a cartoonist and founder of Ghost Car Press, which publishes mini-=comics that focus on quality, craft and innovative packaging. He has a degree in Sequential Art from Savannah College of Art and Design and currently lives in Chicago.
Early reader, unjacketed hardcover. Ages 6-9.
USA 10.99 | Canada 11.99