Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Dinosaur Hour! by Hitoshi Shioya

This is one of a new crop of GNs for the younger crowd, and it has already acheived some recognition, including listing in SLJ's Good Comics for Kids Summer 2009 Reading List (www.schoolibraryjournal.com/blog/540000654/post/750045675.html)

Short skits introduce various dinos from the Permian to the Cretaceous periods, and while educational, this is by no means meant to be a learning experience! It is pure comedy.

For example, "The Mystery of the Feathered Dinos" features two protoceratops (feature players in many of the skits) discussing what velociraptors look like. One points out that "recent studies" show that raptors had feathers. So they begin to draw the scary, meat-eating dinos in the sand, adding feathers here and there. They finally collapse in giggle fits. And when one of them venture to an area known for raptors, the "truth" is even funnier than their imaginings.

The artwork must also be discussed in this manga. As a comedy, there are of course exaggerations and comic versions of many dinosaurs, but what is surprising is the accuracy and detail of them when they are not comedic. In places, Shioya acheives a realism that is rarily seen in comedy of this kind and the detail on the dinos shows just how much he adores them.

So, if you know a young dino lover with a great funny bone, here is the perfect book for him/her. And this is just volume 1!

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