Posted in Book Review

Throwing Cats and Other Bad Ideas

I will start off by acknowledging that I am conflicted in my feelings about today’s book. Today we read How do Dinosaurs Love their Cats? which was written by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague. I will provide my positive feedback before moving onto some of my more negative critiques.

This fourteen page board book is full of colorful well-illustrated cartoon dinosaurs. The dinosaurs in this book display a wide variety of personality and spunk. I give the book high praise in terms of the illustrations.

There were 139 words in this book which makes the length of the book better suited to a toddler rather than my 10 month old. The cute pictures did, however, manage to keep my son’s attention. I thought the length of the book would be perfect for a toddler.

Unfortunately, I think the content of the first half of this book makes it better suited to children who are 6 to 8 years old. Why do I say that? Well, the entire first half of the story depicts dinosaurs acting “like a brat.” For example, on page four the book asks “If the kitty complains, does she give it a throw?” On that particular page, the dinosaur is shown throwing the cat.

Based on the content of the first half of this book, I think a toddler might get the wrong kind of ideas. Now the second half of the book clarifies that dinosaurs actually love and care for their cats. I would just be concerned that a toddler would miss the point that we do NOT want to act like the mean dinosaurs! In fact, I could see a toddler deciding that it looks way more fun to throw the pet kitty than it does to “give it fresh water.”

This book would be perfect for a child who is in the 6 to 8 year old age range because they would understand the story. An older child would be able to recognize that the book is not suggesting you act like a “brat.”

The issue I have with recommending this book to a school age child is based on the book’s format. The book that I checked out is a board book. Now my 6 and 8 year old are not offended by the idea of reading board books to their baby brother. They do, however, feel strongly that board books are for babies not big kids.

One other odd aspect of this book involved the fact that every dinosaur was a girl dinosaur. I could see a little boy being disappointed by this book because it only has girl dinosaurs.

Lastly, I know some parents have certain words that they do not want their young children to use. This book does include the word “brat,” which I know some parents have on their list of words they do not use in their house.

I would suggest reading this book prior to reading it with your child. As a parent, you will be best able to determine if this book would inspire your toddler or child in all the wrong ways.

Posted in Book Review

Never Touch a Dinosaur!

I am always searching for board books that have lots of textures for my son to explore. Today, I discovered a board book with incredible, textured pages!

Never Touch a Dinosaur by Rosie Greening is the perfect book for a baby or toddler to explore. Each of the dinosaurs in this book have silicone designs. These silicone designs are highly textured and provided my son with endless entertainment today. It was an instant new favorite!

In addition to being a tactile delight, this book has vibrant multicolored words. The pages contain words that are in different colors, fonts, and sizes.

I will note that some of the words are written in cursive in this book. My six year old kept having to chase me around with the book to ask for help with reading the cursive words. I decided this was a great opportunity for her to practice reading cursive, but I could see it being a feature that frustrated a parent.

Stuart Lynch did an excellent job bringing to life the colorful dinosaurs with his illustrations. The dinosaurs are not scary, rather they are downright adorable. The dinosaurs in this book are smiling or making silly faces. They are brightly colored and have different patterns as well.

In addition to its fantastic visual and tactile design, this book is fun for kids to read. The book does not contain a storyline. Instead, each page features a unique set of instructions and warnings about the dangers of petting various types of dinosaurs.

The book also rhymes which makes it fun for kids as well. I will note, however, that some of the rhymes fall a little short of my expectations. For example, the book tries to count “good-bye” and “by” as a rhyming pair.

Never Touch a Dinosaur is approximately 116 words long, so it might be more challenging for a young infant or toddler to sit through. My son seemed amused enough with touching the pages to listen to the whole book. I could see a child potentially getting antsy though.

I would caution that this book does seem to be cheaply constructed. I do not anticipate that the binding on this book would last for a particularly long time. Also, while the silicone textures on the dinosaurs are great to touch, I doubt they are particularly durable. I recommend supervising a young child while they have this book to ensure they do not tear off a piece of silicone. It would concern me as a possible choking hazard.

Despite some of the drawbacks of this book, I still recommend reading this book with your child if they are between 0 to 5 years old. It is a silly book with a sensational design that draws kids in.

After finishing this book, we have now read 492 books of our 1,000 book goal.

Goodnight everyone!