Dinosaur Woods: Can Seven Clever Critters Save Their Forest Home?
Dinosaur Woods: Can Seven Clever Critters Save Their Forest Home?
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Annotation: To save their homes from being destroyed by developers, a fanciful group of endangered animals constructs a fearsome dinosaur.
Catalog Number: #4087437
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Copyright Date: 2009
Edition Date: 2009
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-416-98626-X
ISBN 13: 978-1-416-98626-3
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2008033084
Dimensions: 29 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
When seven quirkywoodland animals discover that their forest home is going to be leveled to build a factory, quick-thinking Rojo the fox hatches a plan to save their habitat. He constructs a giant mechanical dinosaur using sticks, vines, and "borrowed" burlap, and the appearance of his prehistoric creature not only stops construction of the factory but attracts scientists and reporters from around the world. A mishap soon exposes the friends working the controls of the beast, which creates even more of a stir because the unwitting animals are revealed to be members of rare, endangered species. McClements' cartoonlike collage illustration has a rough-hewn quality evocative of recycled materials that is in line with the story's ecological focus. Although the book's breezy premise feels a bit slight, its playful, comedic appeal and themes of friendship, cooperation, and the value of being yourself will resonate with young readers.
Horn Book
Seven animal friends take action when their forest home is threatened by plans to build a plastic tree factory. The animals construct a life-size dinosaur, thinking a dinosaur habitat would be protected. Turns out the animals themselves are on the endangered list, and when scientists find out, the forest is saved. Colorful collages give the characters personality and enhance the story's humor.
Kirkus Reviews
In this humorous and eco-conscious adventure, seven forest animals face the destruction of their forest home when a "Plas-Tic Trees Factory" buys up the property. But these animals aren't going down without a fight. Inspired by a flier advertising a robotic dinosaur show, they decide to build their own enormous stick-and-burlap dinosaur costume based on the hypothesis that no one would dare destroy a dinosaur's home. Not surprisingly the plan backfires when they trip over a cable and all come tumbling down. Turns out they are special—well, endangered to be exact—and their home is saved. The tongue-in-cheek narration is peppered with funny labels and bits of insider dialogue, such as the bear murmuring, "Is anyone else hot?" or, "Do I hear power tools?" Each character emerges three-dimensionally from the pages, and the revelation of their respective species will set readers howling. McClements's chunky, textured collages work well with the deadpan expressions and couldn't be more apt for the Trojan dinosaur in all its homemade glory (DIY paper-dino instructions appended). We've seen this story before, but we didn't laugh as hard. (Picture book. 3-6)
Publishers Weekly

Developers from the Plas-Tic Trees Factory plan to level a forest, and the seven oddball animals who live there must figure out how to keep their home. The giant dinosaur costume they rig up intimidates the developers, but collapses spectacularly just as news crews arrive (and right after Rojo the fox says, “Nothing can go wrong now”). When the animals inside the dinosaur rig are revealed, the humans realize they're all endangered species. Knot, a woodpecker with a persistent cough, is a “Bronchial Woodpecker,” while Milton, a “Drop-Tail Adder,” had already been declared extinct. The forest must now be saved to preserve their habitat. McClements's (Baron von Baddie and the Ice Ray Incident) crisp, cut-paper collages and zippy text make the action easy to follow, and tiny asides provide additional laughs (“Watch those feet!” shouts Milton from off-page, as Jimbo the deer apologizes). Kids familiar with environmental issues will appreciate this deft parody, and the message about cooperation will be welcome, too. The very personable cast will make for fine, and funny, read-aloud. Instructions for a dinosaur craft project are included. Ages 3–7. (June)

School Library Journal
K-Gr 2 Seven furry, feathered, and scaly critters create a Trojan Horse-like dinosaur to scare off the nefarious Plas-Tic Trees factory's demolition team from clear-cutting their sylvan paradise. It works, until their jerry-rigged T. rex trips over a cable and collapseswith them insideand the jig is up. The local news media, already at the site to report on the dinosaur, has a scoop: these animals turn out to be endangered species. With their woods subsequently declared a nature preserve, the friends' teamwork pays off. In this fanciful story line, the animals' various personalities reveal themselves in numerous amusing asides. The cartoonlike mixed-media collage illustrations are full of attractive texture, dimension, and color. The surefire appeal of dinosaurs is further enhanced by the author's instructions on how to build a model with recycled materials. This title's generous trim size, cleanly rendered illustrations, and fast-paced text are perfect for group read-alouds or one-on-one sharing. Kathleen Finn, St. Francis Xavier School, Winooski, VT
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (5/1/09)
Horn Book (8/1/09)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (6/1/09)
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Word Count: 530
Reading Level: 2.1
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 2.1 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 131990 / grade: Lower Grades
Guided Reading Level: J

Rojo and his pals have a problem: The forest where they live is about to be torn down and replaced with a Plas-Tic Trees factory. The animals are at a loss, until they come up with a plan to scare away the builders using sticks, burlap, power tools—and a gigantic dinosaur. Have these seven endangered friends got what it takes to save their home? Turns out they do . . . in ways they never expected.

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