Animasaurus Incredible Animals that Roamed the Earth
96pp. hbk., RRP $A26.99
While we are all familiar with the incredible dinosaurs, icthyosaurs and pterosaurs that inhabited our planet long before we did, this book focuses on the other megafauna that was here before humans evolved, tracing their evolution from the ancient to its modern counterpart.
From the gigantopithecus to the orangutan, the dunkleosteus to the bull shark, the quetzalcaotlus to the wandering albatross, the reader can see the transition from the unknown to the more familiar. Uncluttered interpretations of the ancient creatures based on what has been learned from fossils are compared to photos of the modern relatives making the transition even clearer. Each double spread has a habitat map and some basic facts as well as tidbits of interesting information to encourage the reader to learn more, perhaps even trace the lineage of their own favourite creature. There is a timeline, a glossary and an index at the back which not only help with navigating the book but also serve as an introduction to the features of a non fiction book for younger readers.
We know books about dinosaurs only linger on the shelf for a short time before being borrowed by an enthusiastic reader – this book will lead them into a whole new world of exploration.
Dennis introduces to his dinosaur friends and the places they live, what they like to eat and other simple facts while Angel and her fairy friends show what goes on in the fairy garden through bright pictures and intriguing lift-the-flaps which will appeal to the very young and help them understand that books, stories and reading contain lots of fun and interest.
Two new publications perfect for the toddler’s Christmas stocking.
Can we ever have too many books about dinosaurs to entice our young people, particularly boys, to pick up a book and read?
Certainly in my school library I put all those with the 567.9 classification on a special shelf so they were easily gettable (and put awayable) because they were in constant demand and it was hard to keep up with the requests.
But this new title by explorer Simon Chapman is not just another book of facts and figures and pictures. Told in a semi-narrative style, Chapman tells the stories of various paleontologists who made the various discoveries across the world and fills the pages with incredible illustrations, pop-outs, pull-downs, lift-the flaps and other devices that make this one of the richest, most intriguing books on this subject I’ve seen. Every page is crammed with new discoveries to be made so the reader feels the anticipation of those early scientists as they pursued their quests.
From the 3D-like cover through to its glossary on the endpapers it is the most sumptuous, luxurious publication you just want to keep running your hands over it and investigating each page thoroughly to what makes a dinosaur, when and where they lived, what they ate, why they fought and why they became extinct.
Not only would this be a very welcome addition to a library’s collection, if I had a student who was passionate about this subject I’d be giving parents a heads-up that this might be an ideal item for this year’s Santa sack!
It’s Saturday night and there is a great sense of anticipation in the line-up at the door of the disco. The doors, open, the crown surges, music starts to pump… and the dinosaurs surge into the hall! Each has their own unique style – styracosaurus salsa, corythosuarus crumps and maisaura moonwalks across the shiny floor – but it doesn’t matter because each is having fun and loving what they are doing. With the disco ball and lights flashing, the conga line snakes across the floor until the music stops, the ground begins to shake, there’s an eerie silence and some of the little dinosaurs dive for cover. What could have cast such a pall of gloom over the fun and frivolity?
If you looking for a raucous, rollicking book that young dinosaur lovers can really get into, then this is perfect. In their amazing way, they will get their tongues around the difficult and unfamiliar names and will move and groove with the dancers. They will hold their breath when the intruder arrives but delight in the ending, joining in with great gusto.
A peek inside…
Dinosaurs are perennial favourites with young readers – and they can never get enough of them. Whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, old and new titles are eagerly sought and this one combines the best of both worlds as there is a pronunciation guide as well as some fast facts about the champions in the book. Bright illustrations add to the appeal and while somewhat stylised they are close enough to the child’s perception of each species, they will delight in being able to identify them. Definitely one for the collection but it needs to have some loud music going to get the atmosphere happening for a memorable storytime.
If you’re looking for a rollicking good read that is lots of fun and has wonderful illustrations, then Dino-Daddy should be high on the list. The third in a series which includes Dino-Mummy and Dino-Baby, Dino-Daddy is the perfect daddy making mischief and making fun. As well as the energetic pictures, the rhyming structure of the texts moves this along at a fast clip that will make everyone wish for a dino-daddy. Perfect for very young readers and those with a fascination for dinosaurs it should be a surefire hit and a great read as part of Father’s Day celebrations.
There is such excitement on the station platform as all the little dinosaurs await the arrival of the Dinosaur Express. At last, it comes into view –
The engine’s like a T-Rex head, the carriages have scales
It’s faster than a pterosaur – it flies along the rails!
Eagerly each little dinosaur climbs aboard, the stationmaster waves a flag and there’s a mighty Hiss! Chug-Chug! and then the engine roars.
Told in rhyming couplets that emphasise the rhythm of a train on the tracks and illustrated with the brightest colours, this is a wonderful, rollicking story about a train journey that would be the envy of any little person who harbours a desire to be a train driver, especially when the narrator has the golden ticket that means he gets to drive the train himself! A wonderful combination of the dreams of many – trains and dinosaurs.
Apart from just being a great story that will entertain young readers, there’s scope to talk about how the rhythm of the words add to the atmosphere and even how the author shapes the imagination with phrases like “the engine’s like a T-Rex head”. “doors like pterodactyl wings” and “seats like allosaurus paws” beginning them on their journey of becoming critical readers. The illustrations are rich in detail encouraging a closer look and something new to discover each time this story is read. This is likely to be a favourite.
What little person doesn’t dream of being a great, BIG dinosaur? This little boy can think of nothing better as he parades around in his dinosaur mask and dinosaur tail. And when a dinosaur comes along to teach all he needs to do like being able to R-O-A-R and stomp then he’s in seventh heaven. But things change when he discovers he needs to eat lots of meat!
“Lots and lots of meat? Just MEAT?”
“Of course! What else is there?”
What, indeed! And suddenly the dinosaur finds himself in the world of the little boy and a host of culinary delights as well as other little-boy pursuits like reading, playing soccer, and playing video games.
Heath McKenzie has crafted a charming story that will appeal to very young readers and the twist in the ending will leave them laughing and wanting to read it again. But first they need to examine the endpapers – so much fun. I believe that you can tell when an author and illustrator have had fun creating their characters and bringing them to life, and this feeling permeates this book. McKenzie talks about its evolution beginning as a sequel to I wanna be a pretty princess but taking a life if its own with the characters appearing fully formed on his blank page.
It’s a refrain heard all over the world on THAT night …”Santa Claus will soon be here so snuggle up in bed.” So with their stockings hanging on the tinsel-decorated bedpost, the two dinosaur children do just that. But the visitor who comes down their chimney is not who they expected – it’s Santa-Claws, a green imposter who starts by falling down the chimney. “Oh, toe-bells,” cried Santa-Claws, “I’ve squashed everything in my sack!”
Woken by the noise, the dino-tots creep down the stairs and they are met with a disaster – this fake is eating the tree, rummaging through the presents, trying on dad’s new reindeer pants and mum’s sparkly red shoes. Nothing is safe, not even the cat. Then, leaving a trail of stinky poos, he moves on to the next house causing havoc and destruction until at last the families wake up. But even the can’t stop him until…
This is a cute story that young readers will really enjoy listening to and they will appreciate good getting the best of bad. Brightly illustrated, it is eye-catching and the rhyming pattern provides a rhythm that moves it along at a nice pace. It’s wonderful for maintaining that atmosphere of anticipation that comes with the magic of Christmas and would be a perfect addition to a Christmas Countdown of stories.
What do you do if you have ten terrible dinosaurs standing in a line? Well you count them down until there is just one and then…you bring the others back again. This is another of the traditional rhyming counting-backwards book that have appealed to young children for generations but it is so beautifully illustrated that it will become a firm favourite. Firstly, using dinosaurs is a masterstroke because 40+ years of experience has shown me that this is a perennially favourite topic of the very young. Secondly the colour and detail of each dinosaur will appeal and make it really easy to help young children with their visual discrimination. Who’s missing this time? And thirdly, it help with prediction skills as the reader thinks about who will go next and who might be the last dinosaur standing – or sleeping in this case.
The rhythm and rhyme of the text not only help children appreciate the nuances of the language they hear each day but also help them join in as they predict the next number based on the rhyming pattern. Is there much that is better than hearing young children shout out with the delight as they join in knowing they are right? Such a feeling of empowerment over those squiggles on the page as they realise they can make them make sense.
Miss 3–and-almost-time-for-preschool loved this book as did Miss 8 who loves to play school and was very busy showing Miss 3 how to write the number sentence for each page. Not sure that Miss 3 got that part but she certainly got a lot of enjoyment out of reading this with her sister and to herself.
This little dinosaur just loves mud and little children just love mud and dinosaurs. And, if they are anything like my Miss Nearly 2, they are going to love this story by a proven partnership of author and illustrator. Whenever I look for books for my little people, I look for titles which feature rhythmic, rhyming and repetitive text so they are encouraged to join in and experience the beauty of our language rolling around their tongue. But how much better when there are also words like sniff and snuff and stamp and stomp that have to be acted out. This is a delightful dinosaur with attitude and we had heaps of fun with it.
But best of all, Miss 6 who is nearly an independent reader, then read it again with great gusto to her little sister after a fun day outside while Grandma ran the bath … and when you read the ending you will know what happened next!
One of my tests for a great read-aloud is whether I can hear myself reading it before I actually do .. with this one I could even hear my friend reading it to her little one, another dinosaur fanatic. Initially, I thought it was more for pre-school but now hearing and seeing Miss 6 have so much fun with it, I’d extend that to the end of Year 1, even early Year 2. A good title for that perennial dinosaur unit so that everyone has a story they can read.