CM . . .
. Volume XX Number 37. . . .May 23, 2014
Dinosaurs come in so many shapes and sizes, just as fathers do. What a clever idea to combine the two! In this simple picture book, Ruth Paul describes and illustrates many different kinds of dinosaurs. Instead of naming them, she uses an adjective such as tall, spiky or prickly. As they read along, children who love dinosaurs will recognize familiar dinosaurs, such as the T-Rex, triceratops and brontosaurus. There are some less familiar dinosaurs, too, that only the “experts” will know.
Throughout the book, cheerful looking dinosaur dads are shown playing and interacting with their “children”. At the end, the last dinosaur is described as gentle, kind and “the best” because he’s “mine”.
The text is simple, with just one phrase per page. The end of the rhyming couplet is found on the next page, giving children a chance to predict a suitable rhyme. The adjectives or actions that describe each dinosaur are set apart from the rest of the sentence in large, bold type which really makes these descriptive words stand out.
Paul’s illustrations are accurate in the sense that size and physical characteristics are correct, even if the colours are somewhat unrealistic. (Although, no one really knows for sure what colour dinosaurs were!) While the text is sparse, there are lots of details to absorb in the illustrations.
My Dinosaur Dad, which combines the topic of dinosaurs with the theme of family, is an excellent book to read aloud. Although it appears to be mostly about dinosaurs, Paul clearly celebrates fatherhood through her illustrations, especially on the final page.
Claire Perrin is a former teacher-librarian with the Toronto District School Board.
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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.