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Dinothesaurus: Prehistoric Poems and Paintings Hardcover – March 10, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Florian's free-flowing, witty collection of poems and collages about dinosaurs is a giganotosaurus delight—perhaps his best work ever. The poems marry facts with a poet's eye for detail: the Brachiosaurus was longer than a tennis court and the Ankylosaurus says, We like spikes and we like scutes/ (Bony plates we wear as suits). Small experts will appreciate the Glossarysaurus at the end, but the heart of the book is in its humor, the spontaneity of both illustrations and poems, and Florian's slightly askew view of the Mesozoic creatures. A Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton spews cutout images of things a T. rex might actually have eaten, along with a tumble of other things (newspaper clippings, a boot, a building), while the text ends with a great pun (I find it terrific/ That it's T-rex-tinct). The tiny (20-inch) Micropachycephalosaurus stares up at a huge display of his enormous name spelled out phonetically, in illuminated caps and as a rhombus. Art and text will encourage aspiring paleontologists and poets to parse these pages again and again. Ages 6–up. (Mar.)
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From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Kindergarten-Grade 3—Set in spreads of dreamy dinosaur art, these 20 playful paleontologic poems overflow with wit and useful information. "What kept the Spinosaurus warm/When it was colder than the norm?/Spines much like a solar panel./(And long underwear of flannel.)" Sandwiched between two general poems entitled "The Age of Dinosaurs" and "The End of Dinosaurs," the entries describe individual species. Each selection includes a helpful pronunciation guide as well as the meaning behind the dinosaur's name. In muted colors with unexpected details, the ethereal artwork differs from the bold, aggressive pictures found in many dinosaur books. Created on paper bags with a variety of media, this collage art expands on the humor found in the verses. Back matter includes a "Glossarysaurus" that provides more information for each dinosaur and details about its extinction, and a page of dinosaur museums and fossil Web sites. This smart marriage of dinosaurs and poetry will delight a wide audience.—Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, MA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 5
  • Series: AWARDS: Kentucky Bluegrass Awards 2011, Grades K-2
  • Hardcover: 56 pages
  • Publisher: Beach Lane Books (March 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416979786
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416979784
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #233,323 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Douglas Florian is the creator of many acclaimed picture books including Dinothesaurus, which received starred reviews in four major publications, Comet, Stars, The Moon and Mars, a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year and Horn Book Fanfare List selection; Bow Wow Meow Meow, winner of the Gryphon Award and a Parents Magazine Best Book of the Year; and Lizards, Frogs and Polliwogs, a Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book. His most recent book How to Draw a Dragon was starred in a Booklist review and School Library Journal called it a "brilliantly simple picture book." He lives and works in New York and has read his poetry at Carnegie Hall, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Poets House, and The White House.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Dinosaurs lived a long, long time ago and as many dino fans know, lived in eras known as Triassic, Jurassic and Creataceous. You can see some of these creatures peering through windows in a building. Some look mischievous while others look fierce. There are bones sticking out of windows too. I wonder if you know which dinosaur they belong to?

When the pages in this book are turned you'll meet your favorites in pictures and rhyme. There they are ... a Brachiosaurus, a Stegosaurus, a giganotosaurus, the plesiosaurs, a seismosaurus, a baryonyx, a tyrannosaurus rex, an iguanodon, a triceratops, a ankylosaurus, a barosaurus, a deinonychus, a stegaceras, a micropachycephalosaurus, a troodon, the pterosaurs, a minmi, and a spinosaurus. Whew, I wonder if you can pronounce all their names!

TROH-oh-don (wounding tooth)

Said to be brainy.
Said to be bright.
But what did it read?
And what did it write?
Said to be crafty.
Said to be smart.
But did it make music?
Or did it do art?
Said to be witty
And wise when it thinked.
If it was so smart,
How come it's extinct?

This was an ultra-witty and clever book that if you want to take a peek you'll have trouble prying it out of the hands of a young dinosaur fan. Each poem is accompanied by a pronunciation guide (not needed by the real dino fan). I was very taken with the muted color palette and eagerly turned the pages to see what I'd find next. This type of art may not appeal to all, but was a big hit with this reader! In the back of the book is a thorough Glossarysaurus, a listing of dinosaur museums, fossil sites and additional recommended reading resources. This is a Junior Library Guild Selection that's well worth the money!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By N. S. VINE VOICE on September 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Which geologic period came first: the Jurassic, the Cretaceous, or the Triassic? I could not have told you last week, but thanks to reading Douglas Florian's DINOTHESAURUS I have discovered a fun way to remember:

"The dinosaurs
First lived outdoors
During the time Triassic.
While most died out,
Some came about
Later in the Jurassic.
Then they evolved,
As Earth revolved,
In times known as Cretaceous.
But now indoors
Great dinosaurs
Fill museum halls, spacious."

Accompanying this dino-poem on a two-page spread (the first of twenty) is a hysterically funny illustration of a window-filled museum with dinosaurs craning their heads out in places and skeletal parts visible in other places. Douglas Florian has created these lots-to-look-at illustrations with "gouache, collage, colored pencils, stencils, dinosaur dust, and rubber stamps on primed brown paper bags." I suspect that sharing and explaining THAT knowledge about picturebook illustrative technique will inspire some dino-mighty art projects.

And while I'm not by any means suggesting that 86-year old Ashley Bryan is a dinosaur, just because I'm dragging his name into this review, but Ashley totally inspired me the other night at this year's Newbery Caldecott banquet with the rousing call-and-response chants of poems he led during his Laura Ingalls Wilder Award acceptance speech. In similar fashion, one can take any of Douglas Florian's poems from DINOTHESAURUS and do similar call-and-response chants with kids. That's my plan for injecting poetry and high-spirited audience participation into a set of booktalks that I have scheduled for later this week.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Hamilton on February 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover
My 4-yr-old son has loved dinos since he was 2, so I have read MANY dino books. After awhile, they all seem the same. THIS ONE IS AMAZING! Both my son and I loved the pictures (he especially loved the hidden "3" on each Triceratops and the Pterosaurs disguised as airplanes) and the poetry. I can actually keep straight some of the dinosaur facts now also. While the illustrations are not super-bright, they are just right for introducing children to various types of art.

This is my favorite chidren's book of all time.
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By vonnycam on July 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Clever poems and illustrations. Poems based upon true facts about dinosaurs. There is a glossary in the back for more facts about each creature for which a poem was written. Kids love it. Makes poetry fun for grade school students.
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