Everyone has heard of a Tyrannosaurus Rex and a Diplodocus but what on earth is a Tyranno Sort of Rex and a Bit odd ocus? When the ship carrying boxes of dinosaur bones to the city museum gets caught in a dreadful storm, the boxes are broken and the bones get mixed up. The hapless museum curator is tasked with the job of putting them back together in time for the next day's exhibition, with curious results.
What a great book to read to a dinosaur mad 4 year old. This book captures the imagination and wonder of children while also giving them things to question.
So what do you do when you get a whole lot of jigsaw pieces that are mixed up. You find a way to sort them. Well that is just what the curator of the museum needed to do. By looking at different features on the different types of dinosaur he tried to put the bones together. This encouraged a lot of discussion with my son, about why dinosaurs had different sized legs, why some stood on two legs and other on four, why some had horns etc. So then we started a discussion on grouping dinosaurs which then lead into grouping of other things.
The story is well written with rhyme and the repetition of one sentence through the book made the listener interact even further. I also liked that it introduced new words like curator and exhibition.
Scott Tulloch has used creative cartoon illustrations which are quite different from the typical children's picture book. These pictures I feel are more of an older kids thing but never the less my 4 year old was captured by the story so illustrations didn't really matter.
With a book as jammed pack as this make sure you have plenty of time on your hands to answer all the questions.
From the same artistic team that brought us, How does the Giraffe get to Work? The Tyranno-Sort -of-Rex book looked exciting right from the first glance at the cover art. The minty aqua green background helps the white of the T-Rex skull stand out heaps as the focal point. Then the little curator in his red coat stands as if about to do battle with his hammer. When I showed this to my daughters both of them were very excited by the art on the cover and keen to have it read to them.
My youngest daughter was a bit fidgety for the first two pages, but once the prose started it's repetitive beat and illustrative reveal, she was completely hooked. She loved to see what the curator did with the piles of dinosaur bones and what he was building on each page. There were lots of giggles and pointing at each mistake she spotted as well.
For my eldest, she took the book very seriously right from the start. I think the rhyming of the prose really helped to draw her in, and it was really fun to read. But it was the reveals that she was most interested in. She played a game of spot the issues on each reveal. She didn't laugh as much, because she wanted to help the curator get things right. When the final reveal happens, she slapped a hand to her forehead and said "Oh no!". We talked about doing our best and how tired the poor guy probably was, which helped her see things a different way too.
The only thing I struggled with in this book was pronouncing curator. I really have never been able to say it properly on first go. And this was like just about every page, asking me to say it. My kids didn't notice my struggle. Though for my eldest, as she struggles with reading, I told her I was struggling with the word. I did that so she could see that I felt self-conscious but that I kept trying as well. She did parrot back many confidence boosting sentences at me as I went. Aside from "curator", I really liked this book a lot and so did my kids.
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Marilyn Monroe (1926 - 1962)