April 20, 2010
by “Dino” Don Lessem
Confession: I am the mother of a dinosaur nut. As such, I have read many, many dinosaurs books so I am not easy to please. That said, this is a must for your future paleontologist.
Where many books focus on the biggest and most ferocious, Lessem looks down and into the small places for the wee tiny overlooked dinos. Most of these dinosaurs, including lesothosaurus and liaceratops are about 3 feet long but the smallest of all is the microraptor at only 1.8 feet. Some were herbivores, others carnivores but all of them had to be on the alert for larger animals.
Not surprisingly, Lessem ends his book with a “Where are they now” section. He starts with the asteroid theory and then asks why small mammals and birds survived this disaster when small dinosaurs did not.
John Bindon’s wonderfully detailed illustrations are a perfect compliment to the text although I would have liked a bit of information on how he chose texture and coloration for his various paintings. Inquiring minds . . .
Even without that detail, this is an excellent book for dino lovers both large and small.
April 9, 2010
by Karen Lynn Williams
This isn’t specifically an Earth Day book, but it is a story of caring and sharing and growth with a clear environmental/conservation message. It was also the first book I thought of when I contemplated a post in honor of Earth Day.
More than anything, Facile wants to grow a tree for his baby sister. Unfortunately, they live in poverty stricken Haiti (pre-earthquake Haiti). One calamity after another befalls the seedlings but Facile is determined. After all, Haitian tradition says the tree will keep his sick sister safe as well as give his family shade and fruit. At last Facile discovers a solution and the tree thrives and is later joined by other trees.
Illustrator Linda Saport created charcoal and pastel illustrations that reflect the strength and determination of Facile and the Haitian people. This is definitely an uplifting story of determination and hope for the future.
Share it with a young reader in your life!