Cordova’s illustrations keep readers intrigued by shrewdly playing with scale and angles, such as a top-down view of Mrs. Barker and Alyssa (to showcase the interior of the book Mrs. Barker is holding), or the off-kilter angle of the scene where Alyssa runs away with the book, dinosaurs all around her. These illustration choices in combination with the playfulness of the text’s placement (larger or smaller, different fonts, also at an angle, etc.) combine for an almost cinematic reading experience, adding to the overall sense of adventure without sacrificing clarity or narrative momentum.
Dedicated dinosaur buffs will appreciate nods to familiar dinosaurs (Stegosaurus, T-Rex, Velociraptor) as well as lesser-known dinosaurs, such as Protoseratops, Microceratus, and Compsognathus. The hijinx and hilarity that ensue from Mrs. Barker’s class’s trip may set unrealistic expectations for reluctant readers’ own library excursions, but the story certainly succeeds in metaphorically representing the wonder and adventure to be found in books, even if no actual reading is seen taking place during the class’s trip. Full of action and heart, this ode to the pleasures of reading may convince reluctant readers to jump in or remind even the most committed readers of the joy to be found in the act of reading.
Takeaway: A class trip to the library turns into a magical adventure.
Comparable Titles: Adam Wallace’s How to Catch a Dinosaur, Ryan T. Higgins’s We Don’t Eat Our Classmates.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A