CM . . . . Volume XVIII Number 22 . . . . February 10, 2012
Dinosaurs is one of six titles in the "Learn to Draw" series with AV2 media enhanced features. A short discussion of drawing is included at the beginning of the book, teaching the reader to break down complex objects into simpler shapes. This book offers a two-page spread of facts about each dinosaur, followed by step-by-step instructions on how to draw the dinosaur. The fact pages include a full colour image of the dinosaur with body part labels and additional information. Also included are a table of contents, glossary, quiz and a description of which AV2 media enhanced features are available online.
Based upon the series title, it could be assumed that this is mainly a drawing book; however, the balance between information and instruction is about even. The information is presented in multiple formats, and a reader would not be overwhelmed by large blocks of text. Dinosaurs would be great for reluctant readers who like to draw. The steps for drawing the dinosaurs are thoroughly explained, but, because each diagram is small, fine details could be missed. The media enhanced features offer an interactive drawing tutorial of the same drawing steps described in the book.
The media enhanced features also include embedded links about each dinosaur, a video, audio excerpts, a word matching activity, a slide show of dinosaur images and a quiz. These features would cater to a reluctant reader, imparting similar information to that found in the text. The site was fairly easy to access, requiring a code found in the book and a word from a certain page as a "password." The quiz on the website was the same as the one found in the book so offers multiple formats of the same information. The video and slide show provided images but little information. Some of the websites no longer linked properly and included advertisements.
This book can be recommended in two ways: to a reader looking for information about dinosaurs who also learns to draw them, or, for an artist looking to learn how to draw dinosaurs who also gains information about them.
Kate Hachborn is a library technician at the W. Ross Macdonald School in Brantford, ON.
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