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Young readers really 'dig' dinosaur books

Published: Tuesday, March 4 2014 3:11 p.m. MST

"If Dinosaurs Lived in My Town" is by Marianne Plumridge and Illustrated by Bob Eggleton.

Sky Pony Press

Dinosaur books are always a favorite for young readers. Following is a selected list of picture books for fun reading.

“THE BIG BOOK OF DINOSAURS,” by Dougal Dixon, Octopus Publishing/Tick Tock, $12.99, 78 pages (ages 7-10)

This is a large-sized collection of facts and question-and-answers with full-color illustrations. Particularly helpful are the timelines — Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous — with pictures of the dinosaurs that existed during each of the periods. Forty topics such as fossils, movies that featured dinosaurs and myths surrounding the giants are covered in short subscripts accompanied with clear photos and maps. A glossary and index are included, which might have been more helpful had it included a phonetic pronunciation guide.

ARE THE DINOSAURS DEAD, DAD?” by Julie Middleton, illustrated by Russell Ayto, Peachtree, $16.95 (ages 4-8)

When they visit the museum, Dave gets assurance from his dad that the dinosaurs are dead. Dave sees it differently “Why is the Ankylosaurus winking at me, Dad?” and the Allosaurus “is grinning at me, Dad.”

Oblivious to their coming to life, Dad says that Dave’s imagination is playing tricks. When the Tyrannosaurus begins to follow them, Dad is finally convinced.

Julie Middleton’s debut picture book with the cartoon-like angled character will delight young readers who have mastered — or nearly so — their fear of the giant displays at the museum.

“RAWR!” by Todd H. Doodler, Scholastic Press, $12.99 (ages 3-5)

For the child who still fears the giant-sized dinosaurs at the museum, “RAWR!” is a great book. Tyrannosaurus Rex tells how tough it is being a dinosaur, “I am bigger than my teachers. … I am even bigger than the school bus.”

Worst of all, everyone is scared of Rex.

Rex decides to teach his friends to not be afraid. ”RAAWWRRR! means HELLO in Dinosaur! Please tell all your friends.”

“RAWR!” may help children overcome fear of the big unknowns.

HOW DO DINOSAURS SAY I’M MAD?” by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague, Scholastic Press, $16.99 (ages 4-6)

Everyone has a mad day, and in this version of the Yolen/Teague popular dinosaur series (“How do Dinosaurs Say I Love You,” “How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon?” ) the question is how does a dinosaur express his mad emotions. Does he have one tantrum after another, grumble and pout, kick the furniture, fling a mug at the cat?

The answer is, “No … a dinosaur doesn’t!”

After he’s counted to 10, taken a time out, breathed calmly and cleaned up his mess, he says, “I’m sorry!” followed by a big hug.

Just like in the previous books in the series, good behavior wins out.

IF DINOSAURS LIVED IN MY TOWN,” by Marianne Plumridge, illustrated by Bob Eggleton, Skyhorse/Sky Pony, $16.95 (ages 3-8)

The “What if …?” text leads the reader to imagine the possibilities of real-life dinosaurs in today’s world. What about a Corythosaurus as a school crossing guard or dinosaurs as playground equipment?

Color photos add a reality factor along with the author’s “Dinosaur Fact Prints.” This interesting combination of fact and fantasy could encourage young readers to add dinosaur possibilities in their own backyards.

Email: marilousorensen@ymail.com

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