cover image How Dinosaurs Went Extinct: A Safety Guide

How Dinosaurs Went Extinct: A Safety Guide

Ame Dyckman, illus. by Jennifer Harney. Little, Brown, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-3165-9329-8

When it comes to commanding children’s attention about basic health and safety rules, Dyckman (The New Kid Has Fleas) conjures up a dinosaur-based strategy with sky-high stakes. After a museum’s dinosaur skeleton prompts a kid, shown with tan skin, to wonder what wiped out the terrible lizards, a bespectacled, light-brown-skinned adult in a “Dadasaurus” T-shirt sidesteps a second caretaker’s reasonable answer, declaring, “I know how dinosaurs went extinct!” Kicking off with “Gallimimus ran with scissors,” one-sentence cautionary tales follow, from “Triceratops didn’t wear a helmet” (“Gives me hat hair!” the scaly red critter insists) to “Compsoagnathus stood in shopping carts” (“Gimme!” shouts the tiny dinosaur as it dives into a dinosaur cereal display). Digital illustrations by Harney (“Smelly” Kelly and His Super Senses) are as over-the-top as the varied assertions, showcasing extravagantly cartooned reptile portraits in scribbly spreads that range from slapstick (Ankylosaurus tipping back in a chair, and off a precipice) to gross-out (Gasosaurus attempting to light a fart). It’s an extended dad joke, but one that just might get the point across. Phonetic dinosaur spellings are included throughout. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Scott Treimel, Scott Treimel NY. Illustrator’s agent: Rachel Orr, Prospect Agency. (Apr.)