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The aptly titled Dinosaur Pirates! by Penny Dale features (surprise, surprise) saurian scallywags sailing the seven seas. The story, while not told in rhyme, has repeating phrases that lend it a lyrical quality. The big buccaneers dig up buried treasure (as all pirates should). Then they are menaced by a shipload of rapacious raptor reavers led by a spinosaurus. The story has a happy ending, but doesn’t offer much in the way of a lesson for kids to learn. While not the first (or last) picture book to combine two children’s favorites, dinosaurs and pirates, Dinosaur Pirates will certainly appeal to a wide range of young readers.

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“Pirate songs, all night long.”

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Dale illustrated the book with two-page spreads in bright, bold, eye-catching colors. In some of the images, young readers might be challenged to identify which dinosaur is a part of which crew. But the outcome of the naval battle is quite clear. Each spread is packed with little details that will keep young readers’ attention. The end papers offer a fun bonus: images of different types of dinosaurs and sailing equipment.

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