Monday, 25 February 2013

Review: 'Are the Dinosaurs Dead, Dad?' by Julie Middleton

Are the Dinosaurs Dead, Dad? by Julie Middleton, Illustrated by Russell Ayto, 2013, Peachtree Publishers, $16.95, hardbound, 30 pages. Category/Genre: mainstream. Cover: clever and somewhat ominous. Where we got it: publisher. Where you can get it: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million.

Dave and his dad are going on a trip to the museum, where there's a dinosaur exhibit. The first thing Dave asks is, 'Are the dinosaurs dead, Dad?' Naturally, his dad assures Dave that the dinosaurs are dead.

But Dave keeps asking questions. He wonders why the dinosaurs are winking at him, why they want his burger, why they are tickling him. Dave's father puts it all down to Dave's imagination . . . until he sees something, as well. 

This is a clever book, with delightfully whimsical illustrations. The depiction of all the dead dinosaurs with their tongues hanging out is witty and not at all scary, and children and parents will love seeing the dinosaurs come to life behind the father's back. They will also enjoy trying to pronounce the dinosaur names, as Middleton provides a handy pronunciation guide with each name. 

There aren't just names to learn, either. The meaning of the name is given, along with a fact or two about each dinosaur.  

This is a great way to introduce kids to a few dinosaurs without making it seem like learning. The art is done with pen and ink, watercolour, pencil crayon, and collage. And the little signs accompanying each exhibit are priceless: for the dinosaur whose name means 'terrible hand,' there's a sign saying, 'Mind the hands.' For the Allosaurus, who has long, sharp teeth, the sign reads, 'Mind the teeth.' And for the Tyrannosaurus Rex, the sign reads simply, 'MIND.' It is also worth noting that this sign has a bite out of it . . . 
The signs make us wonder if the museum knew the dinosaurs were alive.  

Note: be sure to check out the back cover where the price is listed. It, too, is a sign. 

Age range: 4-8. 

If you like this one, try: Suggestions?

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1 comment:

  1. Love it! Great review and a great book! I'm so glad you liked it!