Review Blog

Mar 24 2013

I'm a dirty dinosaur by Janeen Brian

cover image

Ill. by Ann James. Puffin, 2013. ISBN 978 0 670 07615 4.
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Picture book. Dinosaurs. Verse story. In lovely inviting verse, Janeen Brian tells the story of one dirty dinosaur, rolling around in the mud, getting different parts of his body dirty, until he is so dirty that he must run to the edge of the swamp and jump into the clear water beyond.
Each page has the first two lines of a stanza, telling which part of the body is affected by the dirt, then the next page completes the stanza with words to describe what he is doing. Each stanza is followed by four lines which repeat some of the stanza before, written in bright bold print, making sure that every child who reads the book, will want to shout out those lines in particular. The simple wash illustrations by Ann James suit the verse amazingly well, as the line drawing of the dinosaur scrabbles in the brown wash at the bottom of the pages.
As a read aloud in a classroom, or at home, or an older child, by themselves, this is a standout book. I couldn't help myself reading it out loud, the words are so infectious, and the rhyme easy to follow and learn. I think it will be read out loud often and with gusto.
Notes are available on Janeen Brian's website, and include activities which could be done with the book in a classroom.
But this would be fantastic as a class activity, each student learning a line and the class reciting the book as a recitation.
Fran Knight

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