In the latest addition to the long-running, bestselling series, Yolen and Teague’s rascally dinosaurs learn to read and enjoy books despite their sometimes-inappropriate antics.
Yolen’s signature, inquiry-based rhyming text begins with the titular query, “How does a dinosaur / learn how to read?” In response, a series of rhetorical questions are posed, each indicating an unsuitable behavior or reaction when a new reader might be struggling, frustrated, and discouraged. “Does he use his new book / as a shovel or bat? // Play fetch with the dog? / Throw books at the cat?” Silly (“jump on the book”), sometimes rage-filled (“have a big hissy / when reading skills fail”) conduct eventually leads to the inevitable series of contradictions. “No—she’s kind to each book, / to the cover and pages. / She reads very carefully. / Never has rages.” Respectful care for books is emphasized so that reading a good story can be enjoyed again and again with calm, determined patience. Humorously exaggerated depictions of nine different angry, irritated, ill-tempered (and enormous) dinosaurs quickly revert to happy, willing, and satisfied expressions (highlighted in the endpapers) as new readers succeed to end the day peacefully, each falling asleep with a book in bed. A practical addendum offers sensible strategies for caregivers to coach their new readers following parental read-alouds, including learning letter sounds, sounding out words, using picture cues, repetition, and rhyming words.
An appealing approach, as ever filled with humor and common sense. (Picture book. 5-7)