Inspiration From The Distant Past

Inspiration From The Distant Past
Found note in an old book... warms the cockles of my bookish heart...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Storytime Challenge: Meet the Dinosaurs by Dino Don Lessem

First, let me apologize at the very BOYISH ongoing theme. Although I do have a little girl, she is only two, and her tastes are formed very much by her boisterous older brothers! They are interested in dinosaurs and Legos and...well...things that smell...

I am amazed at the interest given to dinosaurs and the memory they have for dino-details. Use soap when you wash your hands, not oft remembered, but use the word "pterodactyl" and listen to a ten minute lecture on why that's not really the right word.

My dad got several in the series of dinosaurs by Don Lessem for my kiddos. He got these books for my older son, but they are being read to my younger son too. Every night. Each and every night. Sigh.

They are pretty interesting, actually. Enough fighting, poop commentary, and pictures to keep kids (boys) interested, and enough interesting facts to keep me from banging my head against the wall the 20th time I read it.

Of course, with dinosaurs, so much is theory and even since these were printed more discoveries have come to light that slightly outdates these books. The books do explain some of the past theories that were incorrect. I use that as a springboard to discuss experimenting, theories, research, etc. 

I read this to my 6 year old, but my 10 year old still likes to listen and look at the pictures occasionally. In the front of the book it lists the dinosaurs in the book, how to pronounce the name, its size, and time and location. At the back of the book is a glossary of unfamiliar words. Most of the names have their origins or meanings explained in the book.

This is not a story book, but the author does put the dinosaurs in likely situations and describes what may have happened and what they may have looked like. 

This is also not an early reader. Young children will definitely need to be read to or helped with the vocabulary. BUT if you want to motivate young paleontologists to read on their own, this is a good series to dangle in front of them.

I would say it is good for ages seven to nine to read on their own, five or six being read to. Much younger and it may be too difficult to understand, much older and it may a bit boring for more than an occasional read.

All in all, a nice series. Informative and entertaining. 

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  1. I was such a dinosaur addict when I was a kid. If you're looking for a great storybook about dinosaurs, might I suggest What Happened to Patrick's Dinosaurs by Carol and Donald Carrick? It's a well-illustrated, imaginative story about a young boy who tries to figure out where all the dinosaurs went to. I grew up on it.

  2. +JMJ+

    I loved dinosaurs when I was a child, too! =D

    Non-fiction books aren't usually popular read-aloud choices--mostly because, as you point out, Leslie, all that repetition of facts might make the adult reader go a bit batty. (LOL!) So now you've got me thinking which age-appropriate non-fiction reads I'd be happy to read aloud twenty times or so.

    Hmmmm . . . A Prairie Dog for the President, maybe! Have you read that one? It's really, really charming and has a narrative!

  3. Hi Leslie - thanks for visiting my blog and for your lovely comments.
    As the mother of two (now grown) sons, dinosaurs seemed to feature largely in my life, eldest wanted to be a paleontologist for a while! Brought back a few memories!

  4. The covers of these books are so vibrant!

    I read my Wonder dino book over and over when I was in elem. So far T goes through mini-phases of dinosaur interest but isn't obsessed yet-- he only has one dinosaur easy reader-- poor deprived child. I'll keep an eye out for these.

  5. @Gabrielreads, I will definitely check that out. Sounds like a good story for them! Thanks!

    @E,yes, rattling off the dates gets old fast! You'd think I'd be an expert now, but my mind has blocked all that info from sticking! They all kind of blur together still! LOL!

    @Liz, how sweet about your boys! I have to admit, dinosaur obsession is a-ok for me! I hope it lasts forever! LOL! I did visit your blog and I enjoyed it, but the lovely commenter was Lesa. She has generously invited me and 3 other lovely ladies to be a part of this blog.

  6. Liz: Hi! Thanks for visiting! That was me commenting on your blog. Thought I better explain so Leslie didn't go crazy trying to remember commenting on your blog! haha

    Did you check out the BBB page? Please join in anytime-- We would love to see your lovely vintage bargain book finds-- and we will brag ourselves silly over them-- we are always good to brag!

  7. Leslie: Ah, I see you sorted it all out just fine!! I didn't check for your comment before posting mine.

  8. These are great reads for the budding paleontologists in the family. I have just started to research what fiction is out there in picture books about dinosaurs and appreciated Gabriel's suggestion, as I am not finding much.

  9. @Joanna, Yes, I think you are right. There are many for young readers, but I guess not much for older ones.

    @Lesa, yes, I was confused for a moment, but that's normal. ;)

  10. When my oldest son was little it was all about dinosaurs! I'll have to check out this series. I so remember when he could listen to the same book over and over again- sometimes in the same sitting. I miss it!

  11. That's so sweet. Yes, I know I will miss it too!


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