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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Dinothesaurus: Prehistoric Poems and Paintings

Released March 2009

Reviewed by Bob Walch

Twenty short poems about dinosaurs are featured in this book. Although some of the rhymed verse is clever, too much of it is just plain silly. I know that probably means youngsters in the first or second grade may find the silliness appealing, but I doubt older youngsters will.

Here's the poem for the Minmi - "What's Minmi's BIGGEST claim to fame? / It has the smallest dinosaur name."

The Spinosaurus verse isn't much better - "What kept the Spinosaurus warm / When it was colder than the norm? / Spines much like a solar panel. / (And long underwear of flannel.)"

Although it is certainly colorful, the accompanying art is also a disappointment. The "cave art” approach may be considered clever by some reviewers, but I'm not one of them! Often cluttered backgrounds envelope the dino illustrations to the point that they actually get lost on the page. For example, I can hardly make out the pictures of the Triceratops, Minmi, Ankylosaurus and Stegoceras . I would expect a child would have an even more difficult time trying to see the creatures.

Naturally, I must also admit that although I was totally turned off by this book, a very young child might find the silliness hilarious. So, rather than recommending you avoid this title, I'd suggest you preview it with your child. If he or she likes it, forget everything I just wrote and buy it!

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