Thursday, February 17, 2011

Dinothesaurus by Douglas Florian (LS 5663 Review)

Florian, Douglas. 2009. Dinothesaurus. New York: Atheneum Books.

Dinothesaurus is a collection of twenty informative yet entertaining poems about dinosaurs that is sure to thrill dinosaur lovers of all ages. Each poem is short, no longer than fifteen lines and includes the elements that children enjoy in poetry: humor and rhyming words. Children will enjoy lines like “Deinonychus would leap on its prey. Deinonychus could ruin your whole day” (Florian 24). In addition to being enjoyable to read, the poems are also informative, sharing facts about each dinosaur like the poem Barosaurus that teaches “I’m higher than five elephants. I’m longer than most whales. My giant neck is balanced by my forty-three-foot tail” (23). Dinosaur names are a bit tricky, so the pronunciation and meaning of the dinosaur’s name is added to the poems. The rhyming words also help give clues to younger students about how to pronounce the difficult scientific words.

The pictures are amazing and varied. Some are drawings, some are bright, some are colorful, and some are abstract. Children will enjoy looking at the pictures for extra information about the dinosaur on the page.

Because the poems are short, this is a wonderful book to read aloud to students during story time. The first poem, “The Age of Dinosaurs” is the best poem for introduction because it gives the background information on dinosaurs.

     “The dinosaurs

     First lived outdoors

     During the time Triassic.

     While most died out,

     Some came about

     Later in the Jurassic.

     Then they evolved,

     As earth revolved,

     In times known as Cretaceous.

     But now indoors

     Great dinosaurs

    Fill museum halls, spacious” (1).

Dinothesaurus is a must-have for any elementary library and an excellent read aloud with younger children.

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