Reviewed by Clare Brook
It has been twenty-five years since the first publication of Dinosaur Roar! This large (28 cm x 25 cm) children’s book has been in print every year since 1994, so, unsurprisingly, is now hailed as a modern classic. In this celebratory edition the original artwork has been re-scanned, vibrant glossy colours animate the dinosaurs capturing the attention of the young reader. Although the illustrations are cartoonish, each type of dinosaurs is accurately depicted, which justifies The Natural History Museum of London endorsement of Dinosaur Roar!
The authors, Paul Stickland and Henrietta Stickland, have been creating successful children’s books for thirty years. In this book they use the antics of these fascinating creatures of the prehistoric era to introduce children to a range of adjectives in a rhyming text. There is one adjective per page written in a sentence using large clean text below Paul’s brilliant illustration. Children learn about big dinosaurs that roar, while others squeak, some are fierce other meek. Simple adjectives – fast, slow, weak strong, short and long, progress to above and below, clean and slimy, sweet natured or grumpy, and spiky or lumpy. The book ends with all the dinosaurs lining-up to eat a communal lunch, which presents the kindergarten reader with a good example of how to behave during the lunchtime break.
On the last two pages all the dinosaurs appear without text, here was a missed opportunity, as each type of dinosaur could have been named for the benefit of verbally advanced children. Stuck to the inside of the back cover is a folded poster that reiterates the lessons presented in the book, ideal for a child’s bedroom.
No doubt, this lovely book will continue to be a favourite for the younger reader for sometime to come.
By Henrietta Stickland & Paul Stickland
Pan Macmillan Australia
ISBN: 9781509827381 – $14.99
Paul Strickland continues with the theme of amusing colourful dinosaurs in Ten Terrible Dinosaurs, a large (28 cm x 22.5 cm) vibrantly coloured book and now endorsed by The Natural History Museum. This time the dinosaurs provide a lesson in early numerical competency.
Aided by their prehistoric friends, children count down from ten; each number is represented by a numeral and word. Ten dinosaurs are standing in a line but various antics causes one dinosaur to disappear, so then there were nine. This gives an excellent example of subtraction as students visualize the idea of counting backwards, while being thoroughly amused by the dinosaurs clowning around. The rhyming text describes and compliments the illustrations of the dinosaurs larking about, all the while encouraging children to count backwards. Young children enjoy counting one to ten, finding ten to one more challenging but Ten Terrible Dinosaurs makes the learning process easier and fun. The last two pages numbers the dinosaurs, this time one to ten, and children are encouraged to count the number of dinosaurs standing in a line next the relevant number.
Ten Terrible Dinosaurs has been in print since 2000, which is proof enough that the Stickland dinosaur books have stood the test of time, so can be confidently recommended for yet another generation of small children.
By Paul Stickland
Pan Macmillan Australia
ISBN: 9781509835522 – $14.99