Review Blog

Apr 02 2015

I'm a hungry dinosaur by Janeen Brian

cover image

Ill. by Ann James. Puffin, 2015. ISBN 9780670078103
Highly recommended. Humour. Rhyming text. Read aloud. With the successful, I'm a dirty dinosaur still ringing in people's ears, I'm a hungry dinosaur growls at a new and excited audience as the dinosaur works his way through mixing the ingredients, putting it into the oven, watching it cook, taking it out, icing it and then eating it. He gets dirtier as he goes, anticipating the thrill of the eating as he mixes, waiting patiently as he watches it rise in the oven, then using his oven mitts to take it out and ice it. Eating it is an even messier affair and one piece leads to another and another, until finally he resolves to make another cake.
Along the way every four rhyming lines are followed by a repeated refrain, using a list of words to do with the action preceding them. Children will love learning the refrain to read along with the adult, and take delight in the rhyme and rhythm of each set of words as well as predicting what word might come next. Their involvement in the words will have them eager to listen again and again. I love the exploration of the process in making a cake, each step following the other in sequence, giving the model for telling a story in its correct order. The words are all accessible to a younger audience, and Ann James' delicious illustrations, made not only with magic pencil and watercolour, but also chocolate icing, hundreds and thousands and flour add to the fun of the reading.
Fran Knight

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