When Oli sets off to have a GREAT BIG ADVENTURE, he wants to meet the scariest dinosaur in the land! But who is the scariest and how will Oli know when he meets it.
My husband read this to Miss 3 and Mr 5. As he read the book, the kids regularly commented about the various dinosaurs and which one was the scariest. They loved the little bits of information about each dinosaur. They were particularly interested in the scariness scale. The information about the length allowed us to work out how long each dinosaur was. Mr 5 is just over a metre, so we worked out how many of him would we need to lie down on the ground on order to get the same length as the dinosaur in question. A bit of maths thrown into a fun book! I am a primary school teacher, so I always think about how a book can be used in different ways other than simply reading it!
We found that the illustrations we fun and entertaining. The book is very much based around earthy colours, mainly browns and greens. These colours seem quite reaslistic for the dinosaurs and the scenery which is portrayed in the book.
The storyline is enhanced by a sections of scientific facts. Each dinosaur has some simple facts about then; a description, how to pronounce the name, scariness rating, length, diet and intelligence rating. This format is used throughout the book as each new dinosaur is introduced. My children learned very quickly that they could find this information about each of the dinosaurs. They went straight for the scariness factor on each one!
I thought that some of the dinosaurs featured in the book were fictional but I actually learned that some of the ones I didn't think were real, in fact were real! A quick Google search was able to confirm for me which ones were real! It turned out that there was only one which wasn't real! It is just as well I didn't act all knowledgeable when reading to Mr 5 without having all the facts straight in my head. It is surprising that I actually learned about a few dinosaurs during the reading of the book - this wasn't something I expected when I began to read the story.
My kids enjoyed the pages that had big bold words on them. They liked it when I pointed to the words and they joined in with me. The words which make a sound were particularly fun - "BANG! CRASH!" etc.
In addition to this being a book about dinosaurs and finding the scariness one, this is a tale of friendship. Oli, the main character goes off in search of the scariest dinosaur. Along the way, he meets some new friends. They realise that together, they can actually be very scary themselves.
Overall, we enjoyed sharing this book together. We liked the fact and fiction intertwined through the book. Both kids are into dinosaurs, so any book about dinosaurs is generally received well in our house.
I have one dino-mad daughter and a book-mad daughter. This usually works out really well for dinosaur picture books. This week I sat down with Miss 3 (the book-mad one) and this book. Usually when it is book time, she will sit with me closely and turn the pages as I read to her. At first, that is what happened. She cuddled up closely, and looked at the first page with me. Then she wiggled away from me and went off to play with toys in the same room as me, while I read.
A few times I was able to draw her attention back to the book by showing her the pictures. When I started laughing at the end, she was more interested and came back to me to have the last few pages re-read. She liked that bit the best. Further readings of this book, just didn't quite work for her and I wondered if maybe she was a little too young for this one. I would be interested to see if a year or two more would have any affect on her interest level here.
For her sister (Miss 8 - the dino mad one), she usually will play beside me as I read to her anyway. However, this book had her sitting closely to me and fully engaged with the book and the information it in. The book covers dinosaurs and the earliest ancestors of mammals in the Jurassic period. The story is fiction, but it has a few facts about the creatures as well.
She really liked this and was happy to be learning a bit more about other types of creatures she hadn't heard of. I think the ending joke went a little over her head at first, because it takes on the same look as the non-fiction aspects of the book, while being fictional. However, once I re-read that bit to her again, she saw the joke and giggled a lot. When I tried reading this book to both girls at the same time, only my eldest had an interest in hearing it again.
I personally thought it was a good book, but it didn't suit my youngest. The mix of fiction and non-fiction did confuse my eldest a little, but she thought it was good overall as well. I think if you have a little scientist or a future paleontologist then you'd probably have an easier time introducing this book to them.
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