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We Are the Dinosaurs Hardcover – March 21, 2017
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—The marching rhythm of Berkner's hit tune comes through in this playful picture book adaptation. The simple, repetitive lyrics ("We are the dinosaurs,/marching, marching. We are the dinosaurs—/whaddaya think of that?") are transformed through brilliant illustrations by Clanton into a story about a troop of young dinosaurs going on an explorative adventure. While some of the lyrics don't quite match up with the illustrations (the visuals depict the dinos napping in a volcanic cave, not in a nest), the plot contains enough of an arc that it makes sense as a whole. The mixed-media dinosaurs are part David Ezra Stein's Dinosaur Kisses, part Gus, the Dinosaur Bus, with a big dose of Clanton's bold and adorable style. He includes just the right touch of anthropomorphism and accessories to give each dinosaur and parent unique personalities without making the book over-the-top. The simple lyrics are supplemented heavily by animal asides, which can sometimes overwhelm the page. Upon first read, the excess words may present a challenge and disrupt the natural and fun rhythm of the lyrics. But once the reading flow is established, this title will be read over and over. VERDICT A catchy narrative that will stick in readers' heads. A great purchase for most picture book collections, and a fun choice for preschool storytimes.—Clara Hendricks, Cambridge Public Library, MA
"Popular children’s musician Berkner (The Story of My Feelings) brings another of her songs to the picture book crowd with this vibrant adaptation. Berkner’s lyrics provide a rowdy framework for the story—“We are the dinosaurs,/ marching, marching./ We are the dinosaurs—/ whaddaya think of that?”—and Clanton’s (Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea) zippy cartoons create a parallel visual adventure that brings Berkner’s words to life.... Berkner’s fans and newcomers alike should find much to enjoy about in these boisterous, independent-minded dinosaurs’ adventure." (Publishers Weekly, January 2017)
"The lyrics to Berkner's 1997 dinosaur marching song are kitted out with a plotline, dialogue, additional sound effects, and big, very simply drawn prehistoric scenes...young audiences will have no trouble chiming in as they march about and roar in chorus." (Booklist, March 2017)
"The marching rhythm of Berkner’s hit tune comes through in this playful picture book adaptation. The simple, repetitive lyrics...are transformed through brilliant illustrations by Clanton into a story about a troop of young dinosaurs going on an explorative adventure...with a big dose of Clanton’s bold and adorable style. He includes just the right touch of anthropomorphism and accessories to give each dinosaur and parent unique personalities without making the book over-the-top...this title will be read over and over. VERDICT: A catchy narrative that will stick in readers’ heads. A great purchase for most picture book collections, and a fun choice for preschool storytimes." (School Library Journal, April 2017)
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***Edit May 2017***
I have now had this book for a month. My class loves it. We have to read it at least twice a day. While there are words on the pages not in the song version, we use Laurie Berkner's song "We Are the Dinosaurs" with the book. My kids sing and roar right along with the dinosaurs. They have also realized two of their other favorite stories "Victor Vito" and "The Feelings Book" are also by the same author. YAY for amazing learning opportunities to also teach students what an author is.
As far as the story goes, there really isn’t a point to it in my opinion except showing what friendship is all about. It’s just a group of young dinosaur’s friends spending some time together, having fun, stomping around, going on a picnic and camping at night. I think it is a fun book that will appeal to both young boys and girls. Plus, parents will have fun singing the catchy song along with their child....and perhaps because of its catchiness, still have the song in your mind long after the book is read.