Dinosauritis by Jeannette Rowe
Allen and Unwin, 2012. ISBN 978 1 74331 012 0
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Picture book. Dinosaurs. Humour. A 'flip-the-flap' Dinosaur tale, this large colourful book will be loved by all who pick it up. The front cover reminds me of felt animals ready to be moved around the page, and each proceeding double page spread continues the idea of cut out, plastic and felt animals ready to be played with as the book is read and the names learnt.
The opening stanza tells us about Darwin a three year old who finds a plastic dinosaur hanging in a tree and so learns that he can find out lots about these animals using a book. Following are many dinosaur names ready for children to learn, along with Darwin completely amazing his Mother and the wider community. But when he is five, he meets Sally Dolomide with a whole new set of animal names. When the two become ill, the doctor is called and diagnoses Dinosauritis, a disease affecting many children because it is so contagious.
This is a wonderfully bright and inviting book, full of the names that young children love, words that are in bold, with the syllables separated to make them easier to learn. The humour is not only accessible to the reader, but also the parents and teachers reading the book to the class, as all will recognise the truth behind the contagion that is Dinosauritis.
Two pages of dinosaur jokes are followed by two pages of dinosaur facts and then a board game. Two pages at the beginning and end of the book are able to be cut out, so enabling children to have their own collection of cardboard dinosaurs. This is one in a series of four books, ensuring that all become touched by the dinosaur contagion.