cover image I Met a Dinosaur

I Met a Dinosaur

Jan Wahl, Chris Sheban. Creative Editions, $18 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-15-201644-9

A bewitching blend of fantasy and realism highlights this clever rhyming tale of a girl whose imagination is sparked by a visit to the Museum of Natural History. Suddenly, she's seeing dinosaurs everywhere--on Tuesday it's a stegosaurus at the gas station, Thursday it's a triceratops near the railroad tracks and Sunday a pterodactyl flies beside her kite. Wahl's (Tailypo!) verses skip nimbly along to a gentle driving beat (""Late on Wednesday/ out behind our shed/ I heard a rattle and a bang./ Something looking to be fed"") that heralds spirited read-aloud sessions. The matter-of-fact manner in which the dinosaurs appear is underscored in vividly imaginative paintings. In his first picture book, Sheban overlays--as if with gauze--the slightly soft-focus scenes of bright-eyed dinosaurs commingling with everyday elements (e.g., peering out of the shadows at the museum, unseen by a stern security guard; looming over an old-fashioned gas pump; creeping through the fog past a steepled church). This slightly dreamy visual style seamlessly unites fact and fiction, giving credence to the delicious possibility that maybe, just maybe, there really are dinosaurs among us. Ages 6-10. (Oct.)