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by Frances Barry & illustrated by Frances Barry

Age Range: 2 - 5

Pub Date: June 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7636-5354-5
Publisher: Candlewick

Barry’s latest interactive text appeals to the youngest of dinosaur aficionados, presenting them with some very basic facts about how dinosaurs lived.

Through a pseudo–question-and-answer format, readers are given the opportunity to ponder their own answers to the author’s wonderings: “I wonder why minmi is watching her eggs. / Her eggs are hatching.” One or two sentences in a smaller font give more information: “Dinosaurs laid eggs in nests on the ground.” As the text progresses, children learn what dinosaurs ate, how big they were, how they might have defended themselves and communicated, what is left of them today and how fossils are found. Barry uses the words “may” and “might” liberally, remarking that scientists are still learning. The 12 featured prehistoric beasts include a nice mix of popular/lesser-known, large/small, land/sea/air and vegetarian/carnivore. While Barry’s illustrations are brightly colored to attract young children’s attention, the textures of the papers used in the collages more closely echo those found in nature. But the real draw will be the interactive features—smack Ankylosaurus’ tail club, watch Pterodactylus spread his wings and open two flaps to get a sense of just how long Diplodocus was. Endpapers serve as a pronunciation guide, give some quick facts and feature dinosaur silhouettes in sizes proportionate to one another so readers can get an idea of their relative sizes.

Dinosaurs, pop-ups and flaps to lift—what could be better? (Picture book. 2-5)