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Suzan Reid
Illustrated by Linda Hendry Toronto, Scholastic Canada, 1993. 32pp, paper, $4.95
ISBN 0-590-74090-3. CIP

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 4-7

Reviewed by Alison Mews

Volume 22 Number 2
1994 March/April

Children everywhere are fascinated by dinosaurs, and this combination of a gentle story about dinosaurs and bright, busy pictures will attract a ready audience amongst pre-school and Primary children.

The vegetarian Brontos live in domestic bliss with the neighbouring Iggys and Steggys, having pool parties and chatting over the fence, until the vacant house next door is sold to a family of (Tyrannosaurus) Rexes. The whole neighbourhood is aghast and the fearful residents lock themselves in their basements. When Mrs. Bronto surfaces to search for ferns, she finds an invitation to dinner from the Rexes. Believing it to be a summons to their own demise, they are insulted and freshly fearful, and it is not until the day arrives and they smell the unfamiliar aroma of steaks on the barbecue that they realize their fears are groundless, and the invitation genuine. The final few pages show all the dinosaurs cosily co-existing in sunny suburbia.

Linda Hendry has obviously enjoyed playing with Suzan Reid's anachronistic story of dinosaur families in a modern subdivision. She has crowded her illustrations with visual humour (such as cavemen computer games for the young dinosaurs and large T-bone steaks for the T-Rexes) that entices children to pore over the pictures. The whole premise is so preposterous that children will be hugely entertained and delighted to share in the joke.

Recommended as light relief for classes studying dinosaurs, or for pure enjoyment at home or school.

Alison Mews is the Coordinator of the Centre for Instructional Services, Faculty of Education, at Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John's, Newfoundland
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