Dinosaurs: In the Beginning...

Arnaud Plumeri, Author, Bloz, Illustrator
Arnaud Plumeri, trans. from the French by Nanette McGuinness, illus. by Bloz. Papercutz (Macmillan, dist.), $10.99 (56p) ISBN 978-1-59707-490-2
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The French team of Plumeri and Bloz blend wisecracking comedy with solid information about dinosaurs giant and tiny in this roaring (no pun intended) kickoff to a graphic novel series. In nearly 40 mostly one-page episodes, Plumeri profiles dozens of dinosaurs and covers topics that include continental drift, different prehistoric eras, coprolites (“in other words, fossilized dinosaur droppings!”), and possible reasons for the dinosaurs’ disappearance. Comedic anachronisms and punny one-liners are abundant. In one scene, two tyrannosaurs discuss the pros and cons of eating a potentially dangerous triceratops, with one calling them a “super practical” meal. “You don’t just get the meat: it also comes with toothpicks,” the T-rex explains, giving readers a demonstration. Bloody moments are frequent, but Bloz’s vintage-style cartooning never lets the dinosaurs’ eat-or-be-eaten existence become gruesome. The team skillfully uses humor to correct misinformation about dinosaurs, too: what looks to be an epic fight between spinosaurus and tyrannosaurus rex ends with a whimper when one contender vanishes. “Who will emerge the victor in this clash of the titans? No one, because these two dinosaurs... never existed in the same period.” Ages 6–11. (Jan.)■
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