DINOSAURS AFTER DARK

Jonathan Emmett, Author
Jonathan Emmett, Author , illus. by Curtis Jobling. Golden $14.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-307-41179-2
Reviewed on: 12/24/2001
Release date: 04/01/2002
Hardcover - 25 pages - 978-0-00-664728-7
Hardcover - 28 pages - 978-1-59764-161-6
Paperback - 978-0-00-198375-5
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-0-00-722464-7
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This somewhat pedestrian bedtime story from a British team offers little in the way of surprises, but still packs a measure of appeal for dinosaur fans. Hearing a noise one night, Bobby peeks outside and spies "a huge enormous dinosaur!" He puts on his bathrobe and follows the creature downtown, where "DINOSAURS WERE EVERYWHERE!" At first, the dinos seem bent on making Bobby a midnight snack ("Snatch him! Catch him! Munch him! Crunch him! Before he runs and tells on us!"), but when he promises to keep their secret, they let him join in the fun. The revelry continues until there's time for just one last game of hide-and-seek, and a scary one at that ("You can hide, and we will seek you,/ but if we find you, we might eat you!"), but in the end instead of eating Bobby the dinosaurs carry him home to bed. Emmett's uneven blend of prose and rhyme is offset by the exuberance of the cartoony artwork, which should entertain youngsters (some, however, may find the hide-and-seek scenario a tad unsettling, despite the happy ending). Jobling's background as an animator informs the simple lines and large, chunky shapes, unified with a smart use of color; the shade of Bobby's bathrobe, for instance, matches the green scales of the main dinosaur. Ages 3-6. (Mar.)

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