Dinotrux is a new picture book by Tucson author/illustrator Chris Gall that has made a truck-sized impact on the children’s lit world.
You may have heard the buzz or seen the blog posts: “What a great idea!” “Why didn’t I think of that?” “He’s got a deal with DreamWorks already!” “A book preschool boys will love.”
To get an idea of what the clamor is all about, take a look at the book trailer.
The trailer is funny, clever and well, animated. When I picked up the book I wanted Cementosaurus make facial expressions. (Note to self: don’t make your book trailer so fantastic people want your illustrations to move.) As you can see, the book is wonderful. The names of each dinotrux is based on real dinosaur names like “Dumplodocus,” the dump truck version of Diplodocus. Who wouldn’t find Dozeratops, the Craneosaurus, the Semisaur appealing?. The story isn’t complex; this is a field guide to dinosaur/trucks.
Chris Gall admits he changed his illustration style for this book. The illustrations are darker hues than his previous books with heavy lines giving it a more retro look, probably to reflect the dim past. Gall says he wanted to represent how fiery and dangerous it was in the time of Dinotrux (the shading reminds me of the illustrations in Chris Van Allsburg’s Two Bad Ants). Gall says he creates his illustrations both by hand and on the computer and often goes back and forth between the two.
Dinotrux is incredibly imaginative and humorous. It will definitely be a smash with preschoolers interested in trucks and/or dinosaurs.
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers (June 1, 2009)
Product Dimensions: 11.9 x 9.2 x 0.6 inches