Well. I don’t know whether to scream or spread my arms for a great big hug. That’s because I’ve just finished reading—and ogling—the fantabulous, stupendous Dinotrux by author/illustrator Chris Gall.
What are Dinotrux? Why, they’re part dinosaur, part truck, of course, and they are something to behold. Humongous, hulky and shaped like the dinosaurs of our past, Chris Gall’s Dinotrux stomp into our field of vision with car bodies for heads, tires for feet, and dinosaur teeth and claws that make cave people scatter in terror.
Gall graces the book cover with a great, green, smoking contraption with wild eyes and needle-sharp teeth. This rare photograph of an elusive Dinotrux is enough to make readers snap the book up to see just what’s going on between the cover. Gall also offers hungry-eyed picture book lovers two other wonderful pictures before the story even begins; pictures of red-hot lava, terrified cave people and Dinotrux lurking in the deep, dark woods.
And finally, the story; the saga of the Dinotrux that ruled the world millions of years ago. There’s Craneosaurus, built like a crane; Dozeratops, a mutant bulldozer; Digasaurus, with a scoop shovel for digging; and of course Garbageadon, a garbage truck knock-off.
Dinotrux is absolutely adorable. Gall uses deep, rich colors to show exploding volcanos, sizzling lava and overgrown woods. His characters have huge truck heads, pipes and other metal accessories that spew smoke in big puffs, and fat tires for feet that leave tread marks everywhere.
I won’t tell you what happens to the hyperactive Dinotrux in the story; you’ll have more fun reading that part for yourself. But I’ll tell you this: It takes a lot of talent to make a picture book about trucks that look like dinosaurs (or dinosaurs that look like trucks). The concept is simply brilliant…or brilliantly simple, I don’t know which!
Though this book is not a hardback, its pages are built for active, perhaps even prehistoric hands. The pages are thick and durable; the pictures are a cross between comic book and graphic novel, and the best part of all is that there are nine wonderful Dinotrux trading cards in the back.
For a wonderful modern-day lesson on dinosaurs and their behavior with a unique twist of humor, be sure to pick up Dinotrux by Chris Gall.
Best wishes and happy dinosaurs,