Perfect Picture Book Friday: Dinothesaurus
Author/Illustrator: Douglas Florian
Publication Info: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2009
Intended audience: Ages 6+
Genre: nonfiction picture book
Themes/topics: dinosaurs, poetry, natural history
Opening and synopsis:
First lived outdoors
During the time Triassic.
While most died out,
Some came about
Later in the Jurassic.”
In a twist on traditional dinosaur books, Florian gives us poems about Stegosaurus, Triceratops, T. Rex and other childhood favorites. And he couples his poems with fanciful illustrations that show the dinosaurs’ personalities and unique traits. Troodon, the smarty pants of the bunch, is pictured with a graduation cap, for example. He also includes a comprehensive glossary, selected bibliography and list of dinosaur museums and fossil sites.
Why I like this book: Douglas Florian is a new favorite. I’m always fascinated by authors who produce creative nonfiction, or in layman’s terms, nonfiction that’s not boring. And he’s really funny. He guest posted on Katie Davis’s blog, where he encouraged poets to employ bad spelling and grammar if it’s funny and to make up words, hence “dinothesaurus.” His poems are catchy. You might just find yourself chanting, “Triceratops./Try-scare-a-tops./Try-wouldn’t-want-to-dare-a-tops.”
Resources: Honestly, there’s no shortage of dinosaur resources available. A visit to a local natural history museum would be a nice tie-in. National Geographic Kids has a wealth of dinosaur information, including Creature Features about dinosaurs and this brainteaser quiz. Also, you could try conducting your own dinosaur dig and make your own fossils. Grab some small, plastic dinosaurs (you can usually find these at Joanne’s or other craft stores). Hide them in the sand box and give children shovels and paintbrushes to dig for the dinosaurs. Once you’ve found them, follow these instructions to make your own fossils using clay and plaster of paris.
Every Friday bloggers review “Perfect Picture Books.” Find a complete list of book reviews organized by topic, genre and blogger at author Susanna Leonard Hill’s site.
28 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday: Dinothesaurus”
This sounds wonderful, Kirsten. I’m very curious to read some of his work anyway. I will definitely check this out. Thanks and have a great weekend!
I think his guest blog was fantastic, especially when he urges us to be silly and make up words. Cooper also is currently enjoying Poetrees.
This looks really fun, Kirsten! My son would have loved this when he was little. Actually, he might still love it 🙂
I have to admit, these are books I think I like as well or better than the boys. Comets, Stars, Moon and Mars is a particular favorite.
Love the thought of a Dinothesaurus that teaches words and concepts about dinosaurs in a fun and unique way. Children seem so fascinated with dinosaurs (a fascination that eludes me, I’m sorry to confess) and this sounds like the perfect book to enhance their experience.
Beth, I was no dino fan growing up. But now that I’ve had two boys, I’ve had the privilege to learn lots about them. And now I find them fascinating.
Beth, I was no dino fan growing up. But now that I’ve had two boys, I’ve had the privilege to learn lots about them. And now I find them fascinating. Read Kathleen Kudlinsky’s “Boy Were We Wrong About the Dinosaurs.” It’s a great NF PB that showed me a lot of what I learned growing up was indeed wrong.
Oh, thank you so much for the recommendation! One of the branch libraries here in the city has the book, so I’ll read it SOON!
Another great non-fiction book! Thanks for the link to his interview on Katie’s blog.
He’s brilliant, really. And as an illustrator, you’ll really appreciate his illustrations.
Having just finished a poetry workshop, I think it’s a must for me to pick up this book or others by Florian. Thanks for sharing!
He’s really inspiring, especially since he uses poetry when discussion factual information. I believe my June MS may be in free verse!
I love all your non fiction recommendations, and this looks a very funny addition. I confess to occasionally making up words in my kids poetry so it is nice to read the pros do too!
Remember, Joanna, you ARE a pro now. 🙂
I know you love me Kirsten, let me count the posts! LOL Big fan of Florian’s art, collector of thesaurus’, graduation day!
Right back at ‘ya Julie. I was bemoaning that I wasn’t in NYC. I’d love to see a Florian gallery show.
I just love all of your non-fiction recommendations! This is another one to add to my list. Thanks, Kirsten!
Someone else reviewed his space books: Comets, Stars, the Moon and Mar a couple of weeks ago. It’s fabulous!
Interesting book. I have never been a dinosaurs fan growing up either, but I have a young nephew coming to visit in August who is into them… so will check this out for him. Thanks for this Kirsten.
Enjoy! He would also enjoy “Boy Were We Wrong About the Dinosaurs” by Kudlinski. You’ll learn a lot. For example, dinosaurs are not reptiles!
This book sounds like something I would like! I like how the factual information is given in a fun way! 😀
I think he has a new one out too about bees, called Unbeelievable (or something like that).
I love dinosaur books. This sounds like a good one!
It’s a lot of fun to read aloud as well. Many of his poems almost turn into chants.
This sounds like a fun non-fiction book.
It’s a great read. My boys love it.
Just gave The Big Book of Dinosaurs to my almost 7-year old grandson…I know he would LOVE this one. Great review, Kirsten…I love the “made-up” words and rhyme…and kids will love it too…so much for some of the “rules of picture book writing”. 🙂 Great activities…will keep this post to do some of them with the grandkids. 🙂
Your grandkids are so lucky to have you as a grandmother. You all will have great fun on your dinosaur dig.