Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Children's Book Review, The Little Dinosaur

Children's Book Review by Susan Stephenson,

Finding great picture books for kids is important. That's why I was pleased to receive a copy of The Little Dinosaur recently. Written by Catriona Hoy, and illustrated by Andrew Plant, it was published by Working Title Press (Penguin) 2012. While strictly speaking this children's picture book is fiction, I love that it's thoroughly researched and fact-based. Young non-fiction aficionados will feel right at home, yet there is enough "story" to engage kids who need a tale to follow.

In a time before Australia existed, a little dinosaur with big eyes roamed the Antarctic forests, nibbling on cycads and ginkgoes. One day the little dinosaur fell and hurt her leg. She struggled to keep up with her herd. Time passed and the world changed, but the discovery of the little dinosaur's leg bone millions of years later, meant her life would not be forgotten.

Hoy's writing style is engaging, conversational, never patronising. Her background as a science teacher means she knows how to relate to kids. It's great that the book itself was inspired by the discovery of a dinosaur fossil in Victoria in 1989, and that the story explains how that fossil came to be.

Plant's realistic artwork also grabs the reader's attention. As a trained zoologist, he brings a background in natural history to his illustrations. It's obvious too that he also understands kids as there is a real sense of theatre and atmosphere within these pages. Kids will enjoy the colours and patterns his imagination has imbued the different dinosaurs with.

I always appreciate when there are teacher notes with children's books, as these provide at the very least some great points for discussion after sharing a book with your kids. Check out the outstanding notes for The Little Dinosaur, written by Janet McLean, author of Let's go, Baby-o!

If your youngster is interested in dinosaurs, you might like to read Letter to the Book Chook - Dinosaur Books, and Children's Learning - Dinosaurs.

Find more Children's Book Reviews on The Book Chook by clicking Reviews in the right sidebar.

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