cover image Dinosaur Bob and His Adventures with the Family Lazardo

Dinosaur Bob and His Adventures with the Family Lazardo

William Joyce. HarperCollins Publishers, $15 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-06-023047-0

From the creator of George Shrinks and illustrator of other books comes a campy extravaganza about the savvy Lazardo family, which, while on vacation in Africa, acquires a dinosaur. Scotty and his sisters, Zelda and Velma, plead to keep him, and their parents agree. Bob, named after Scotty's great-uncle, is happy with the Lazardoshe swims in the morning, plays baseball in the afternoon and sings songs around the campfire at night. But it is soon time to go home to Pimlico Hills, and while Bob is a hit on the ocean liner, his popularity at home diminishes quickly when the police catch him chasing cars. How the Lazardos rescue him incorporates mythic elements of the national pasttime (Bob exhibits great skill at the plate) with a matter-of-fact telling. Joyce's dinosaur is gargantuan yet unthreatening, rendered in an illustrational style reminiscent of 1920s magazine advertising. Surprising juxtapositions of scale enliven the drawings, and many employ unorthodox aerial perspectives. Joyce's is a world of light-drenched, chiseled-edge landscapes and brooding night scenes in which active crosshatchings bring shadows to life. Ages 4-8. (September)