I'm a dirty dinosaur by Janeen Brian and Ann James

cover image

Penguin Australia, 2013. ISBN 9780670076154.
Highly recommended for any little dinosaur lovers from 2 years up. I just LOVE LOVE LOVE this book!! Where to start? Yes, it is very simple for little people with a rollicking rhythmic text that just begs to be read aloud accompanied by some stomping feet. A young dinosaur progressively gets grubbier and grubbier until finally he decides it is time to have a bath in the local swamp.
Janeen Brian has created a perfectly balanced rhyming text that is matched by an onomatopoeic refrain for each action creatively executed in bright primary colours.
'I'm a dirty dinosaur with a dirty tail.
I flick it in the muck or I slide it like a snail.
The superlative Ann James, who never fails to produce outstanding artwork, has matched this dinosaur tail . . . oops, tale . . . with illustrations in magic pencil, watercolour and mud - yes, mud! The little dinosaur is seemingly simply outlined in rainbow magic pencil which echoes the colourful font of the refrain and with each illustration more mud is added to his blank canvas to match the text.
Another detail about the book that has real appeal is the very sturdy cover with rounded corners - most suitable for small hands.
If you haven't already grabbed this book, make sure it is on your list pronto - I know I can't wait to share it as a bedtime romp at my place.
Check out Ann James talking about her creative process here at Penguin, and at My Little Bookcase is an idea for muddy paintings.
Sue Warren