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My Grandpa is a Dinosaur by Richard Fairgray and Terry Jones.

April 21, 2016 Comments off

grandpa dinosaurMy Grandpa is a Dinosaur by Richard Fairgray and Terry Jones. Pub Penguin/Random House, 2016.

Not many picture books have the word palaeontologist in the text, and not many will have the multi level appeal of this memorable picture book for everybody.

Wanda knows that grandpa is a dinosaur but nobody else seems to notice. There is plenty of evidence – grandpa’s skin is green, he has a tail and he is the only grandpa to eat a whole tree at the Grandparents Day picnic.

So Wanda takes a direct approach and asks her grandpa if he is a dinosaur “of course I am ” he replies. But he is not the only one, read and find out where the others are.

Excellent story with minimum written text. Brevity is the key to all humour and Terry Jones knows this. Richard Fairgray has provided perceptive whole page illustrations with the facial expressions, particularly of grandpa superb.Tara Black’s colouring is also a standout feature.

Add in the unique relationship between Wanda and her grandpa and you have a picture book with the aaah and wow factor. If you don’t get this for your school or your children at home you are mad.

As a granddad myself, I haven’t been called a dinosaur yet, but my day is coming. My granddaughters have had it read to them every day this week at bed time. “that’s you granddad” said the younger one on day one.

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What Dog Knows by Sylvia Vanden Heede, Illus. Marije Tolman

February 17, 2016 Comments off

what dog knowsWhat Dog Knows by Sylvia Vanden Heede, Illus. Marije Tolman. Pub. Gecko Press, 2016.

A unique book this being a combination of story and non-fiction, for beginning readers and reluctant readers. it would also be a good read-a-loud for primary students.

Essentially it is a dialogue between Dog and his cousin Wolf. Dog is a reader and has the knowledge. Wolf is scared of the cat but is cunning and realises the power of reading and books without actually being able to read himself.

In the course of the action between the two we learn about Mummies and skeletons, Robots Knights and Pirates, Dinosaurs and dragons and Rockets and the Moon. Each chapter has activities on what is discussed, some rhyming banter from wolf and questions with answers in the back of the book to ensure readers pay attention to the facts given.

The action is excellently illustrated by Marije Tolman, in fact they give life to the action.

Highly recommended as an essential purchase for school libraries and for the home. There is hours of activity in this book

Z.Rex by Steve Cole

April 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Z.Rex by Steve Cole. Pub Red Fox Books (imprint Random House), 2010.

Adam Adler is 13 years old, a Scotsman and he loves to play X Box games. His father designs such games and uses Adam as  a guinea pig in testing  them. He is working on a new system called Ultra-Reality and has to go away leaving Adam alone in his new Mexico apartment.

Adam looks out the window and sees a flash in the sky but dismisses it, then he gets an unusual text message from his father, or is it? Then massive action. Adam’s apartment is attacked and destroyed by a massive dinosaur like a T-Rex. He escapes and legs it to a small town near a grave site of dinosaurs, pursued by some military men who seem to think he knows something.

He is captured but rescued from his captors by the dinosaur who seems to be able to talk in halted words and wants to keep Adam alive. In fact the dinosaur shows some of Adam’s characteristics, I wonder why? After an action packed chase the dinosaur informs him he is a Z.Rex and wants him to fly to Scotland with him.

What we are dealing with is a dinosaur with intelligence who is seeking revenge. Adam and the Z Rex get on very well. I wonder why? What part does Adam’s father have in this? Riveting stuff and action aplenty.

Very unusual but hypnotically readable. Action readers will love it and the plot is believable and simple. What’s more there is a sequel called Z.Raptor.

Intermediate school and Juniour high school appeal. I loved it and so will you.