________________ CM . . . . Volume XVI Number 9. . . .October 30, 2009.


Mad About Triceratops, T Rex, Stegosaurus and Other Dinosaurs.

Toronto, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2009.
20 pp., pbk., $4.99.
ISBN 978-0-545-98014-2.

Subject Heading:
Dinosaur-Juvenile literature.

Preschool-grade 3 / Ages 4-8.

Review by Carrie Subtelny.




Upon turning over the front cover, I was thrilled to see a fact box that showed how to pronounce the name of the featured dinosaurs, along with a picture of the dinosaur being compared in size to an adult human. This is a great element as it adds perspective for ‘kid readers’ who may not have any way of understanding the sheer enormity of some of these phenomenal creatures. A great start to this book!

     Each page is inviting with punches of colour to highlight important information. Struggling readers can sometimes read print more easily when it is displayed on a coloured background (other than white). This book includes such panels. The facts shared are also ‘cool’ and relevant to what kids know and can relate to. The fact that a T. rex can eat 1,500 sausages a day is much easier to relate to than the fact that it ate other dinosaurs. Another fact states that a brachiosaurus’ neck was twice as long as a giraffe’s and that this dinosaur could eat up to 200 kg of food per day –– similar to 200 cabbages! A stegosaurus may have had two brains –– one in its head/skull and the other one in its tail! Another fact states that the sharp claws on a velociraptor’s feet were nearly 6.5 cm long. The text continues by stating, “That’s over half the width of this page!” which is an excellent, concrete comparison for kids.

     The last two pages are a great surprise as they include a pair of games for readers to enjoy. One is a “Dino hunt” where readers search the scene to find the dinosaurs listed. The last page shows panels of pictures that depict only a small part of each dinosaur with a fact-clue written beside each. The reader has to use the clue and the ‘picture-bit’ to guess the name of the dinosaur. A great ‘assessment tool’ if your purpose in using this book is for students to know specific dinosaurs and their features.

     My only suggestions for improving the book would be the addition of a timeline on each page to assist students in getting some idea of when these dinosaurs lived and when other earth events happened. Also, a map indicating where these creatures lived so many millions of years ago would also be useful. However, parents and/or teachers may wish to create their own extension activities to this text and invite their children/students to dive into more research that sends them through time.


Highly Recommended.

Carrie Subtelny is a reading clinician with the Winnipeg School Division and a Sessional Instructor with the Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba.

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

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