cover image Can You Dig It?

Can You Dig It?

Robert Weinstock. Disney-Hyperion, $15.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-4231-2208-1

The poems in this entertaining collection focus on paleontologists, dinosaurs, and stone age people with a whimsical emphasis on humor. Like Jack Prelutsky’s work, Weinstock’s (Food Hates You, Too ) poems are filled with slapstick and outré subversiveness. “Coprolite” features a paleontologist who “was famed for finding fossil poo,/ Like giant T. rex number two.” In “Greetings,” Cro-Magnons communicate with their weapons (“ 'High five!’ was five bonks with a club./ 'Wassup?’ was two stone whomps”). Unlike similar books (such as Douglas Florian’s Dinothesaurus ) that sprinkle dinosaur poems with facts, Weinstock’s verse and artwork are more fanciful than educational, and his cave dwellers are reminiscent of The Flintstones . The poems’ meter is not always skillfully executed (“Can someone fail arithmetic/ If math doesn’t exist?”), and the color palette is at times so dark that the text becomes difficult to read. Nonetheless, there is energy and comedy aplenty in Weinstock’s illustrations, as hefty Cro-Magnons dance in tutus, “balletic triceratops ride the trapeze,” and a child makes a snow angel as his father drags home a bison. Ages 3–7. (Mar.)