Thursday, January 9, 2014


PAPERCUTZ is a comic book / graphic novel publisher that I have a lot of respect for which has a great catalog of titles for children ranging from DISNEY FAIRIES, GERONIMO STILTON, GARFIELD and THE SMURFS for younger kids to CLASSIC ILLUSTRATED, HARDY BOYS, NANCY DREW, and TALES FROM THE CRYPT for grade school students and teens.  I have 5 year old twins who really aren't reading on their own yet, but I've enjoyed reading PAPERCUTZ titles to them which allows them to follow along with the pictures as I tell the story.  My daughter loves the Disney Fairies comics and my son The Smurfs.  Now, PaperCutz is adding a great new title to their catalog called DINOSAURS.

DINOSAURS isn't available as individual soft bound serial series comic books but rather will be sold as a series of 3 individual hardcover graphic novels with the first edition "In the Beginning ... " hitting retailers' shelves this week.  The book has a goofy paleontologist, with a name that spoofs Indiana Jones, called INDINO JONES discussing the history of dinosaurs, how things become fossilized, various geological topics, and the various time periods when these giant creatures roamed the Earth.  Rather than having stories, the graphic novel is divided into short segments or skits that each make you think of newspaper comic book strips. Looking at the artwork and reading through the text of each segment you could imagine this was a compilation of newspaper comic strips collected together for this book.  They actually have been created specifically for this book though and aren't taken from another source. The artwork reminded me of B.C. and Wizard of ID to some extent but it also has a "pop" factor from the pages of the book that provides a "wow" factor lacking from those types of comic strips.  My daughter saw me reading through the book on my computer screen and loved the graphics saying "That's a really cool comic Dad".

The stories are both entertaining and educational which I believe makes it an excellent addition to a child's bookshelf.  The artwork is bright and nicely colored in a cartoonish manner which may entice some children who may not want to read a book with realistic images because it may be to much like school work or in some cases scary for those kids who may get spooked by things.  Humor and some slap stick comedy is intertwined with the book to make the reading experience fun for the kids, and parents, reading it.  For example, in one scene while Indino Jones is looking for fossils on a beach he doesn't notice an elderly woman sunbathing as he is walking along and spouts out a statement of "old fossils on the beach".  The old woman, wearing a bikini, chases the haphazard paleontologist off the beach.

The book gives descriptions of "What is a Dinosaur" and the types of Dinosaurs ranging from popular ones such as T-REX, STEGOSAURUS, and VELOCIRAPTOR along with less well known ones such as ALLOSAURUS and DEINONYCHUS from the perspective of the dinosaurs.  Indino Jones role is somewhat similar to the paleontologist on the PBS tv show Dinosaur Train who comes in between stories featuring the dinosaurs to provide some educational information, though in this comic book he is a narrator who binds the book together plus also has a few storylines of his own and throws in some comic relief too.

 While my daughter did see a few pages of the book while I was working on this review, I decided not to read it to my kids because I thought the content was somewhat mature for preschoolers, which was a tough decision because my son LOVES dinosaurs. There are some graphic depictions of dinosaurs being killed and eaten by predators showing carcasses, exposed bones, and blood in blood.  Additionally there is some violence with dinosaurs fighting and hunting contained in the publication.  Also there was some language I didn't really want the kids exposed to including dinosaurs calling other dinos "morons" and "shrimps".  That being said I believe the content is suitable for grade school children maybe starting around second or third grades.  It may also be suitable for older middle school and high school aged students who need some extra enticements or encouragement to get into their studies.  The book does a good job of explaining "science stuff" like continental drift, extinction, fossilization in an easy to understand manner.  So the description of the book by the publisher is pretty fitting:
Think you know everything there is to know about dinosaurs? Think again! In this bronto-sizedseries, kid dinos show us what their lives were like in short, funny, teeth-gnashing bursts of prehistoric mayhem. DINOSAURS is your guided tour through the rough-and-tumble world of themightiest beasts to ever walk the earth!

All in all I believe the DINOSAUR graphic novels are an excellent addition to the PAPERCUTZ library that compliment there current lineup of titles and fits into their niche of providing quality reading materials for children and teens.  If you have a student in your life, I'd encourage you to take a look at DINOSAURS: IN THE BEGINNING.

The book is priced $10.99 and is available at local book stores, comic retailers, and online.  Volume 2 & 3 will be published in the near future.  For more information, visit: 

DISCLAIMER:  I received a complimentary digital pdf copy of this book from the Publisher for this review.  The opinions expressed in this post are my own.

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