ISBN 978-0-06-268312-0 $17.99
Reviewed from galleys R* 3–5 yrs
Kyung brings principles of simple machines effortlessly to the preschool level in this engaging tale of dinosaurs on a prehistoric playground. A felled tree on a stone fulcrum serves as a seesaw, where a Dimetrodon invites a buddy to play. Minmi takes the opposite end, lifting Dimetrodon as he boasts, “I’m bigger than you.” Therizinosaurus replaces Dimetrodon, elevates Minmi, and counter-boasts, “I’m bigger than you.” So it goes with five increasingly large dinos until Tyrannosaurus throws a hissy fit against affable Brachiosaurus, and T. rex’s mom intervenes. She [End Page 434] reconfigures the fulcrum and tree, turning the seesaw into a slide and restoring harmony among the pals. Watercolor and cut-paper scenes in earthy grays and greens and steaming-anger red are ably composed to advance both plot and science lesson; two spreads of addenda repeat the ascending range of dinos (with names, pronunciations, and identification of time period) and graph the parts of lever and inclined plane, introducing the terms load, fulcrum, effort, force, and plane. This successful mashup of fiction and science, in the style of Jason Chin’s Gravity (BCCB 5/14), is a must-have for early childhood classrooms that take their science—and their play—seriously.