cover image Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp

Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp

Carol Diggory Shields. Candlewick Press (MA), $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-56402-693-4

Dinosaurs, scientifically specified but cartoonishly drawn, throw an eon-spanning party in this amiable romp. Peace reigns among vegetarians and carnivores of all sizes, who dance side by side. Protoceratops and Diplodocus bump to the music even as ""Tyrannosaurus Rex led a conga line./ Carnosaurs capered close behind."" All the while, rhythmic couplets keep the beat (""Ankylosaurus drummed on his hard-shelled back, Boomalacka boomalacka! Whack! Whack! Whack!""), and every mouth opens in a broad smile revealing toothlessness or pointy incisors. Shields (I Wish My Brother Was a Dog) wields a corny sense of humor, quipping ""The party went on--it was so outrageous,/ They stayed up well past the late Cretaceous."" In his first picture book, Nash complements the zany tone with watercolor and pencil images of pudgy, happy dinos, which he pictures with multicolored spots and stripes. However, the illustrator keeps young experts' knowledge in mind; his illustrations make note of such defining qualities as Pentaceratops's five horns, Iguanadon's pelican-like droop of chin skin and Tarchia's turtle beak. The formal names and artistic details add a touch of accuracy to this thoroughly playful account. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)