Dancing with the Dinosaurs

illus. by Lee Wildish. unpaged. CIP. Charlesbridge. 2012. Tr $12.95. ISBN 978-1-936140-67-1. LC 2011024710.
PreS-K—In this oversize picture book, numerous contestants are gathering for the Dinosaur Dance judging, among them Steggy Stegosaurus, T. Rex, and Patty Apatosaurus. The emcee, a large unidentified dinosaur with sharp teeth and big claws, introduces the participants one by one: "Tap along with raptors,/do the Troodie boogaloo,/stomp a 'saurus samba/round Patty's pile of poo." Each large page shows one of the flamboyantly bright reptiles doing its thing. Meanwhile, the four diminutive dino judges are shown in front of the stage, holding up cards with numbers after the contestants perform, but—strangely—the judges seem to be disappearing as the show progresses. The final two spreads announce: "Come on! Dance with dinosaurs!/You could be a winner!/It's tons of fun for everyone, until it's time… [page turn]… for dinner!" The corresponding artwork depicts the emcee chasing all of the dinosaurs. On the last page, he says "Good night!" and wipes his mouth with a hankie as bones litter the floor around him. With many small details to be discovered in the exuberant and wildly colorful illustrations, this amusing story is suitable for one-on-one sharing or storytimes.—Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA
Steggy Stegosaurus and Tracey Triceratops are among the dinos competing à la TV's Dancing with the Stars (here it's "dancing with the 'saurs"). Clarke goes for easy, obvious rhymes ("Tango with our T. Rex, / do the Steggy twist and shout! / Disco with the Duckbills / and shake it all about") that Wildish almost rescues via his eye-snaring illustrations.

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