Book Review: Dinotrux by Chris Gall
The Scene: A packed courtroom.
Judge: We will now hear closing arguments in the case of Young Readers vs. Dinotrux. Mr. Scope Notes, representing Young Readers, will be first.
Scope Notes: Thank you your Honor. Members of the jury, I trust that when you review the facts of this case, you will find that Dinotrux by Chris Gall (Dear Fish, There’s Nothing to Do on Mars) is so appealing to children, especially boys, that it constitutes an infringement on free will. Children will want to read this book. The premise that hybrid dinosaur/trucks used to rule the earth ignites curiosity, while the brief, expressive text all but demands repeat reading.
Dinotrux Lawyer: Objection! That’s his personal opinion, your Honor.
Judge: Overruled. He’s making some good points here. Proceed.
Scope Notes: Even without the illustrations, this story would be a crowd pleaser – with them it’s a crime. Gall’s motion-filled artwork will pull readers in from page one. Sporting his signature crosshatching and rich colors, children will not, I repeat, will not be able to look away. Allow me to refresh your memory:
Scope Notes: The conclusion is also a winner. The idea that some dinotrux survived extinction and evolved into the trucks that roam the earth today just brings it all home. Kids who read this book will certainly look at bulldozers, dump trucks, and cement mixers in a new light. The fact that they are turning this book into a movie only supports my argument.
In closing, I urge you, members of the jury, to find in favor of young readers everywhere and declare Dinotrux criminally appealing. I leave you with the following video:
Judge: Thank you, Mr. Scope Notes, the attorney representing Dinotrux may now make closing arguments.
Dinotrux Lawyer: Thank you. It is clear that this book will be clamored-for among children. It is also clear that it will be enjoyed immensely. Since I can’t deny any of the claims presented against my client, I would like to move that parents, teachers, bookstores, and libraries be allowed to add the book to their collections so that young readers can decide for themselves.
Judge: This is unprecedented. Mr. Scope Notes, are you willing to comply with this request?
Scope Notes: I will comply.
Judge: I hereby declare this trial adjourned.
Find this book at your local library with WorldCat.
About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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