________________ CM . . . . Volume XIII Number 3 . . . . September 29, 2006


The Extinct Files: My Science Project.

Wallace Edwards.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2006.
32 pp., cloth, $19.95.
ISBN 1-55337-971-3.

Subject Heading:
Dinosaurs-Juvenile fiction.

Kindergarten-grade 3 / Ages 5-8.

Review by Gregory Bryan.

***½ /4


Dinosaurs of today have left the leafy, prehistoric jungle and adapted to one made of concrete, brick and asphalt. They live in high-rises and like the night-life. Many dinosaurs enjoy meeting in cafes to discuss movies, music, art and crushing things.

Fox Mulder and Dana Scully from the TV show, The X-Files, would be delighted with the play on words that contributes to the title of Wallace Edwards' new book, The Extinct Files. What's more, the contents of the book are right up Fox Mulder's alley. Mulder was always a firm believer in boundless possibilities. If anyone would believe that dinosaurs might still roam the earth (albeit in disguise), it would be Mulder.
internal art

     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.

Highly Recommended.

Gregory Bryan is a member of the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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