cover image DINOSAURUMPUS!


Tony Mitton, , illus. by Guy Parker-Rees. . Scholastic/Orchard, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-439-39514-4

According to Mitton's (Down by the Cool of the Pool) jazzy rhyming picture book, dinosaurs can cut a rug with the best of them. Triceratops, Pteranodon, Stegosaurus and more get a groove on to create the "Shake, shake, shudder" heard and felt "near the sludgy old swamp," site of the "dinosaur romp." The pronunciation of some dinosaur names may slow the rhythm of the verse at first, but upon repeated readings, the lines scan more smoothly, creating a fun read-aloud. Parker-Rees (Giraffes Can't Dance) relishes in making the prehistoric beasts look light on their feet; even a giant, menacing-looking T-rex joins in with joyful abandon and some limber moves. The artist uses a playfully bright palette to highlight some of the dinosaurs' key physiological features (Stegosaurus's back plates; Styracosaurus's spikes), and simultaneously give the creatures anthropomorphic expressions and mannerisms. This one may not have the scope of Carol Diggory Shields and Scott Nash's Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp, but the thought of the Jurassic monsters transformed into toe-tappin' twirlers makes for great fun. Ages 3-6. (Mar.)