Dinothesaurus. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers.
30-Second Summary: This information picturebook is a wonderful mix of poetry and information about dinosaurs. The poems begin by setting the prehistoric time of the dinosaurs and then goes into specific species, including pronunciation guides and meanings for the names.
Since the picturebook made an effort to maintain rhymes within each of the poems, at times a few of the rhymes did feel a little forced. But mostly, Florian had a lot of fun with language and dinosaur names.
The illustrations are interesting and highly stylized, with clippings here and there pasted into the larger drawings, or wrinkles impacted in on the pages. Other drawings actually looked as though a child drew them. Which I'm also in favor of.
In response to Dinothesaurus, readers could research the various dinosaurs more extensively for reports. Other options would be to encourage students to write poems about other subjects (perhaps with a friendly reminder that poems can still be poetry without rhyming).
Also, since many of the poems are told from a dinosaur's perspective, a teacher could have a student research their favorite dinosaur and develop a story about that species.
Students could also explore the theories of dinosaur extinction, perhaps staging a mock-debate over which theory they think has more evidence.
Quotes of Note:
First lived outdoors
During the time Triassic.
While most died out,
Some came about
Later in the Jurassic."
Tough as tanks and hard as nails.
Heavy clubs swing from our tails."
"Deinonychus had terrible claws.
Deinonychus had dangerous jaws."
Tasty Rating: !!!