cover image Dinosaurs in Disguise

Dinosaurs in Disguise

Stephen Krensky, illus. by Lynn Munsinger. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-544-47271-6

“Most people believe that dinosaurs are long gone,” begins the young narrator of this wouldn’t-it-be-cool-if story from Krensky (We Just Had a Baby) and Munsinger (the Tacky the Penguin series). “But not me.” Instead, the boy reasons that dinosaurs simply went into hiding. Munsinger’s watercolors are the star of the show, comically picturing dinosaurs camouflaged as cave man, a sphinx and pyramid in ancient Egypt, and a medieval knight’s mount, providing some entertaining seek-and-find moments. Back in the present, the child spots one dinosaur masquerading as Santa and another as the Statue of Liberty. The boy’s musings start to become repetitive, but the story shifts gears after he persuades the dinosaurs to come out of hiding; Munsinger shows them letting loose in the grocery store, tearing through town in vehicles, and relaxing on the sofa. A tacked-on environmental message lands with a thud (“Maybe we have some work to do” before dinosaurs will reappear, the boy concludes, as a stegosaurus holds a sign that reads, “Clean Our Planet”). It’s a fine idea that doesn’t quite hit its mark. Ages 4–7. (Nov.)