cover image Dinosaur Dances

Dinosaur Dances

Jane Yolen. Putnam Publishing Group, $14.95 (39pp) ISBN 978-0-399-21629-9

The terpsichorean dinosaurs in this collection of whimsical poems allemande left and pirouette in high style. Although Yolen's ( Owl Moon ; The Three Bears Rhyme Book ) verses often scan raggedly and require no small knowledge of fossils in order to comprehend the humor and puns, Degen's ( Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? ) witty dinosaurs never miss a beat. A brontosaurus Fred Astaire sports a monocle and lace cravat while waltzing to ``a rhythm that pounds / All the way down the street.'' A Carmen-like ankylosaurus dances with a rose in her teeth, and hard rock dinosaurs blare bedrock music. Degen's detailed drawings brim with fun, as in the picture of two dinosaurs preparing for the dance at a beauty parlor littered with magazines--on the cover of Reptilian Quarterly , a dandified tyrannosaurus is ``Puttin' on the Rex.'' Ages 7-11. (Sept.)