cover image If Dinosaurs Lived in My Town

If Dinosaurs Lived in My Town

Marianne Plumridge, illus. by Bob Eggleton. Skyhorse/Sky Pony, $16.95 (56p) ISBN 978-1-62636-176-8

The husband-and-wife team of Plumridge and Eggleton, with a photocomposition assist from Cortney Skinner (who gets a nod on the copyright page), ups the ante for books that imagine how real dinosaurs might add a cool factor to modern life, especially where kids are involved. Each “What if?” spread seamlessly brings together encyclopedia-quality portraits of both popular and obscure dinosaurs with documentary style scenes, while Plumridge’s succinct “Dinosaur Factprint” sidebars strike a nice balance between fanciful and factual. As a photograph shows a group of kids waiting at an intersection, a watchful illustrated corythosaurus (seen holding a stop sign) proves she is the ideal crossing guard, “large enough to stop traffic and colorful enough to not need the neon vests.” The incongruity is consistently fun (another group of children climb a stegosaurus like it’s a piece of playground equipment), and some of the images are gorgeous, like the cryolophosaurus trapeze artist flying above a circus crowd or the bambiraptor reveling in the spray of a backyard hose as it gets a bath from its owners. Ages 3–8. (Nov.)