cover image Tyrannosaurus Drip

Tyrannosaurus Drip

Julia Donaldson, , illus. by David Roberts. . Feiwel & Friends, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-312-37747-2

Taunting and name-calling go all the way back to the Cretaceous period, according to Donaldson's (The Gruffalo ) tale of dinosaur species that don't see eye to eye. Lively rhyming text quickly establishes the battle lines in the swamp as the duckbill dinosaurs hoot, “Up with rivers!... Up with reeds!... Up with bellyfuls of juicy water weeds!”—only to be answered with, “Up with hunting!... Up with war!... Up with bellyfuls of duckbill dinosaur!” from the T. rex camp. Not even a classic mix-up—a duckbill egg hatching in a T. rex nest—can change the dynamic. The out-of-place duckbill, disparagingly called Drip by his adoptive siblings, saves the day, serving the carnivores' comeuppance, but the story lacks heart, with the victors no more sympathetic than the bullies. Roberts's (Mouse Noses on Toast ) cartoon dinos have anthropomorphic arms and bulging eyes; they cavort among intricately detailed tree trunks and subtly patterned water. A few volcanoes flaming in the distance and riverbanks strewn with various bones and brambles or lush with foliage keep readers in the prehistoric era. Ages 4–8. (June)