'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 11 August 2011

Review: How Do Dinosaurs Go To School

How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? is a fun picture book, not unlike a “what not to do” set of guidelines, using dinosaurs as positive role models. And what child doesn't love a dinosaur?

As an adult I find Jane Yolen’s series of How Do Dinosaurs stories enjoyable and catch myself encouraging my own child to select this particular book during story time at home.

If you have not had the pleasure of experiencing any of these stories, a common feature are prehistoric creatures demonstrating a “what not to do”, followed by a “what TO do”, set of principles in certain situations.

In this particular story, it highlights the processes when a child (or dinosaur) goes to school, and the best part is, it is done in rhyming fashion! YAY!

I love Mark Teague’s illustrations that reveal these enormous dinosaurs with foolish faces eager to please their class teacher, running late for the bus, helping their friends, throwing tantrums and my favourite ...

“Does he growl during lessons, or roar out of turn?

Does he make it too hard for the others to learn?”

This is followed by an image of a dinosaur engaged in some sort of dance with percussion instruments, whilst the class and teacher look on dumbstruck!

Apart from the entertaining rhyme and comical illustrations, the book has a clever way of ‘conditioning’ the reader to agree with the behaviour (or disagree with MISbehaviour) of the dinosaurs in specific school-scenarios. I have used this story in the past to assist children in my class to collaborate and develop our own set of class expectations, such as helping our friends, and not growling… err, speaking out of turn. The children thoroughly enjoy the book, and always laugh out loud, at what mischief the dinosaurs get up to!

- this review by Bree Sherd

Title: How Do Dinosaurs Go To School
Author: Jane Yolen
Illustrator: Mark Teague
Publisher: Scholastic US, $29.99 RRP
Publication Date: September 2007
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9780439020817
For ages: 2+
Type: Picture Book