cover image DINOSAILORS


Deb Lund, , illus. by Howard Fine. . Harcourt, $16 (30pp) ISBN 978-0-15-204609-5

A jumbo crew sets sail for fun ("They're hale and hearty—dinotough!/ They talk of salty sailing stuff") in this exuberant picture book, and while all goes well at first ("Heave ho! Heave ho! This life's for me,/ Dinosailing on the sea!"), when foul weather hits, "dinofeet miss solid ground." Fine's (Piggy Pie!) swirling perspectives chronicle the swells from outside and inside the vessel, making justifiable the bout of seasickness that follows (perhaps not so justifiable is the wordless sunset image of them all spewing overboard like so many bile-green fireworks). The sailors sell their boat and swear to the life of landlubbers ("They'd rather dinostroll than float"). Wanderlust is rekindled, however, after a brief spell ashore, and the book leaves the door open for a sequel as the jolly bunch, now transformed into "dinotrainers," chugs off down the track. Fans of the prehistoric lizards will embrace the chipper rhymes, bursting with dino wordplay ("They dinosault like Ping-Pong balls,/ Bumping dinorumps and walls"). Lund's high-spirited humor finds a match in Fine's gouache and watercolor illustrations. Endpapers introduce "Your Dinocrew" (including Captain Hadrosaurus and Cabin Boy Tyrannosaurus rex), who thereafter swagger, stagger and cavort across the pages sporting toothsome grins and ridiculously tiny nautical caps perched on their outsize heads. Young salts and dinosaur devotees will likely be happy to sign on for a cruise with this boisterous bunch. Ages 3-7. (Sept.)