How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? is the latest book in the “How Do Dinosaurs” series written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Mark Teague. The rhymes are cute, the pictures are clever, and a point is clearly made without being preachy: “Does he tease all the girls? Does he pick on the boys? No. . . .A dinosaur carefully raises his hand. He helps out his classmates with projects they’ve planned.”
Another admirable feature is that the dinosaurs are pictured accurately and given their correct names. I was particularly amazed by the furry or feathery looking Segnosaurus (who was featured acting up by grabbing a poor girl’s lunch). Kyle and I have enjoyed reading this one, since he’s starting preschool next month. It’s been a fun way to discuss how he is going to have to behave in the classroom. This book would appeal to boys and girls, ages three up to nine.
Shape Me a Rhyme features some beautiful nature photography from Jane Yolen’s son Jason Stemple. Each shape is described with a poem–sparse words that convey rich meaning. Kyle has enjoyed it because the pictures are bright and the words are melodious, but I think that an older child aged six to twelve would probably appreciate the poetry and the photographs even more.
Baby Bear’s Big Dreams is illustrated by Melissa Sweet and features lively rhymes by Jane Yolen. This time the dreams of a baby bear cub are featured as he imagines what his life will be like when he grows up–he’ll be able to stay up late, be surrounded by his friends, and live in a toy shop. Even though the simple rhyming verse and concepts appeal to a young child, the concept of growing up and still wanting to make parents proud will touch every parent’s heart.
The fact that most children look forward to being grown up, and yet realize that there is something wonderful about staying a child is illustrated in the way that that Baby Bear describes “when I grow up”: first it’s about a year, then a year or two, a year or three, a year or four, or a year or five, and then when he returns home to his parents when he’s ALL grown, they will still tuck him into his special bed. This book will appeal to parents as well as children aged two to six.
One reader (in the U.S. or Canada) will win the book of her choice. Just leave a comment telling which book interests you most.
Congratulations to the winners of last week’s books:
UPDATE 4:00pm–There are actually four winners for the Pregnancy book and five for the Hot Stuff, so I have updated the winners list.