Dinosaur Woods: Can Seven Clever Critters Save Their Forest Home?

George McClements, Author, George McClements, Illustrator . S&S/Beach Lane $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4169-8626-3

Developers from the Plas-Tic Trees Factory plan to level a forest, and the seven oddball animals who live there must figure out how to keep their home. The giant dinosaur costume they rig up intimidates the developers, but collapses spectacularly just as news crews arrive (and right after Rojo the fox says, “Nothing can go wrong now”). When the animals inside the dinosaur rig are revealed, the humans realize they're all endangered species. Knot, a woodpecker with a persistent cough, is a “Bronchial Woodpecker,” while Milton, a “Drop-Tail Adder,” had already been declared extinct. The forest must now be saved to preserve their habitat. McClements's (Baron von Baddie and the Ice Ray Incident ) crisp, cut-paper collages and zippy text make the action easy to follow, and tiny asides provide additional laughs (“Watch those feet!” shouts Milton from off-page, as Jimbo the deer apologizes). Kids familiar with environmental issues will appreciate this deft parody, and the message about cooperation will be welcome, too. The very personable cast will make for fine, and funny, read-aloud. Instructions for a dinosaur craft project are included. Ages 3–7. (June)

Reviewed on: 05/25/2009
Release date: 06/01/2009
Genre: Children's
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