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

Monday, 18 September 2017

Review: Why Can't I be a Dinosaur?

Nellie loves dinosaurs.

She loves dinosaurs so much she wants to wear her dinosaur costume to Aunt Daisy’s wedding.

Of course, Mum and Dad want her to wear her flower girl dress, so Nellie must try to convince her parents she absolutely needs to be a dinosaur.

She doesn’t win the argument. Or does she?

Why Can’t I be a Dinosaur? is a funny picture book that both kids and parents will love. Kids will relate to Nellie and her desperate desire to dress as she chooses, and I dare say many parents will have experienced their own kids wanting to wear a favourite costume to an inappropriate event.
But what I really love about this book is that it's just so honest. The reasons Mum and Dad say Nellie needs to get changed are valid (and relatable), but Nellie’s desire to dress how she wants is also valid (and also very relatable). 

Nellie doesn’t exactly get her own way, but she finds another way to be herself whilst also following Mum and Dad’s instructions. She gets in a teeny bit of trouble for her cheekiness, but her rebellious actions are also accepted and ultimately her independence is praised.

This is so true to life with kids, where everything is give and take. I also think this book is a great reminder that parents can easily get hung up on what we think is right and appropriate, but that doesn’t mean things can’t be done a different way. Kids tend to understand this better than adults, and this book encourages kids to keep this up, which I love.

I also love Tom Jellett’s delightful illustrations. Colourful and funky, they add so much to Kylie Westaway's wonderful narrative. Nellie is a super cool kid (and stomping dinosaur), and I love her display of emotions throughout the book, as well as her amazing dinosaur costume.

Recommended for kids aged three to six, this is a different kind of dinosaur story with a wonderful message about living in the moment.

And if you like this one, check out Whale in the Bath, another fabulous Kylie Westaway/Tom Jellett creation.

Title: Why Can't I be a Dinosaur?
Author: Kylie Westaway
Illustrator: Tom Jellet
Publisher: Allen and Unwin, $24.99
Publication Date: 23 August 2017
Format: Hard back
ISBN: 9781760294724
For ages: 3 - 6 
Type: Picture Book

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