________________ CM . . . . Volume XI Number 7 . . . . November 26, 2004

cover

Drumheller Dinosaur Dance.

Robert Heidbreder. Illustrated by Bill Slavin and Esperança Melo.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2004.
32 pp., cloth, $17.95.
ISBN 1-55337-393-6.

Subject Headings:
Dinosaurs - Juvenile fiction.
Dance - Juvenile fiction.
Drumheller (Alta) - Juvenile fiction.

Preschool-grade 1 / Ages 3-6.

Review by Reesa Cohen.

*** /4

Drumheller, Alberta, is famous for the discovery of many different dinosaur bones which are housed in the Royal Tyrrell Museum; of course, this is during the day!

Drumheller dinosaurs lie around
bones buried deep in ancient grounds

     But this imaginative offering reveals just what happens when the nighttime comes to Drumheller and these bones stir, connect and dance.

But when the moon rises in the sky,
Drumheller dinosaurs transmogrify.
They stir their bones from secret cracks
and assemble themselves- fronts, sides and backs.

internal art

     Then the fun begins as these ancient skeletons come to life and begin their tango, fandango, shimmy and shake through the dark and dusty badlands. There is a joyful rollicking often repeated refrain of:

Boomity-Boom, Rattely-Clack, Thumpity-Thump. Whickety-Whack

     This kind of rhythm and beat will have children thumping their feet and clapping their hands, eager to join the dinosaur beat. Heidbreder is known for strong cadence and rhythm. In this picture book, he lives up to his reputation for an inventive text and playful witty rhymes, even though several rhyming couplets seem to have an awkward meter and need practice for a read-aloud, lest one trip during the Dino dance.

     The artwork by Bill Slavin and Esperança Melo is sheer delight. These double-page spreads are rendered in acrylics on gessoed paper and give life to the rhyming text as the bones come together to form wild dancing skeletons, Richly coloured backgrounds of deep blues, oranges, rusts and reds are a nice contrast to the white curving text and the mauve coloured dancing bones. Add exuberant, joyful children to the party, and the results are magical illustrations.

Recommended.

Reesa Cohen is an Instructor of Children's Literature and Information Literacy at the Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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