So which dinosaur was the greatest?
Was it the tallest, the biggest, the strongest, the smartest, the weirdest, the fastest, or the smallest? Or was it the oldest bird, the best parent, the one with the best night vision, the toughest armour, or the longest nail spikes?
There are a LOT of books about dinosaurs for kids out there. But there are also a LOT of dinosaur obsessed kids out there so there is always room for one more well-done book. Brenda Guiberson and Gennady Spirin (the same author-illustrator team that brought us the excellent Frog Song last year) have created a book worthy to add to this overcrowded genre.
Each page features a different dinosaur explaining why he was the greatest dinosaur of them all. There are familiar dinosaurs (Stegosaurus, Ankylosaurus and Tyrannosaurus Rex) and not so familiar dinosaurs (Therizinosaurus and Laellynasuara). Guiberson finds ways to describe the dinosaurs that show the reader even the most familiar dinosaurs in a new light. (Did you know T. Rex could crush and swallow 500 pounds of food in one single bite?) As in Frog Song, Spirin’s paintings of the dinosuars are beautifully detailed.
Even though there is some new information here, most of the text is familiar territory. I think this would make a great book for a preschooler just starting to learn about dinosaurs. Or perhaps for an older kids who was never really bitten by the dinosaur bug as a preschooler. David was never that into dinosaurs and he really enjoyed this book. In fact, he enjoyed it so much that he told me he thought I should consider it for that “book judging thing” (meaning the Cybils). So I’m taking his advice and adding it to my list of possible Cybils candidates for 2014.
Head over to the Non-Fiction Monday blog for more great non-fiction for kids.