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

Friday 3 July 2015

Review: Dinoblock

Children have an inherent fascination with dinosaurs, yet, along with their tongue-twisting monikers, their facts and figures and dino Ages tend to become something of an information overload.

Not that this seems to phase them in the least.

But it's so great to see a dinosaur book for the very, very young, that can be enjoyed in a visual way, with little punches of info that make both the identification of dinosaurs, and their unique traits, a Jurassic breeze.

I've long-adored the 'block' series of books (the books really are the shape and size of a large block!) and in Dinoblock, Franceschelli and Peskimo combine once again in this beautifully-crafted book.

Opening with a full double-page spread fold out (the pages are card), we meet two kids at a natural history museum, exploring a variety of dinos in their natural habitat.

As they meet each dinosaur, they are likened to something children will easily recognise. 'I have a neck like a goose ...' introduces us to the Coelophsysis, which did, indeed, have a long neck like a goose.

'I have a back like tents on a hill ...' introduces us to the Stegosaurus, whose back does indeed resemble a hill studded with tents.

As each new dinosaur is introduced, the two connecting pages are drawn together by trimmed page edges, that run cleverly alongside the initial illustration. For example, a recto page edge is cut to the curve of a whale's back, and when the page is turned, that same (verso) page edge curve traces the lines of the Diplodocus.

A clever book with perfectly kid-centric illustrations and striking colour and design.

This book may seem pricey for a board book, but with a 5cm thickness, and endless beautifully-crafted pages, it's well worth it.

Title: Dinoblock
Author: Christopher Franceschelli
Illustrator: Peskimo
Publisher: Abrams, $19.99 RRP
Publication Date: 1 July 2015
Format: Hard Cover
ISBN: 9781419716744
For ages: 1 - 4
Type: Board Book