CM . . .
. Volume XIII Number 3 . . . . September 29, 2006
The Extinct Files is presented as young Wally Edwards' science project. As Wally explains, he was going to do his project on his pet iguana, but Wally accidentally stumbled across a major discovery. Young Wally claims to have proof that dinosaurs are not extinct. The Extinct Files is a collection of images and observations Wally has made through sneaking out at night to observe dinosaur behaviour. The tongue-in-cheek observations make record of such things as dinosaur diets, health and fitness regimes, locomotion, education and reproduction.
Although presented as if they were photographs taped into the science project, Edwards' illustrations for the book are rendered in watercolour, coloured pencils and gouache. The abundantly colourful illustrations are a great strength of what is a fun book. Edwards includes a number of humorous details in his illustrations, like the (musical) scales down the back of a singing dinosaur, the long flowing locks on the Gorgeousaurus, and the “hippie-style” decorations on the Groovysaurus.
This book will disappoint dinosaur-crazy youngsters looking for serious information about the subject of their passion. The book, however, will delight any readers looking for a playful frolic into the realm of possibilities. It is guaranteed to give the reader a good chuckle. Edwards' enchanting artwork and playful use of words provides for a fun reading experience. This book is a worthy—and unique—addition to the voluminous collection of dinosaur books for children.
Gregory Bryan is a member of the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, MB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.