Our three year old daughter has recently undertaken a new childhood rite of passage - acquiring a love of dinosaurs. Recently she was thrilled to be given a trio of dinosaur figurines from a natural history museum, a pack of stretchy dinos, and a dinosaur fact-file.
Prehistoric picturebooks have played a key part in her growing fascination. We've written previously about the excellent 'Dinosaur Roar', her first literary Triassic treat, which introduced her to the likes of 'dippy' and 'rex' as she used to call them. Recently, two more favourites have emerged, reviewed below.
Mamasaurus by Stephan Lomp, published by Chronicle Books
It had been a few months since our daughter had requested the same book several times in one sitting - that was until her first four reads in a row of the brilliant and bright 'Mamasaurus'.
The story follows Babysaurus' search for his diplodocus Mama, from whom he is separated after wooshing down her long tail. The pages are filled with near-neon reds, oranges, greens and purples, set against a pitch black background, lightly decorated with stencil-effect jungle foliage.
Babysaurus makes his way from one small dino-friend to the next, seeking out his Mama to no avail. In his final encounter he narrowly avoids becoming Rexy's lunch, thanks to his Mama's reappearance. "Hooray" cries Babysaurus, a cheer echoed by all of us.
Oddsockosaurus by Zanib Mian and Bill Bolton, published by Sweet Apple Books
In the excellent 'Oddsockosaurus', the many wonderful facets of a toddler's personality are explored through a humorous take on the Greco-Roman dinosaur names that fascinate our daughter.
The book is narrated by a small boy who acknowledges that he's "very complicated". Sometimes he's a Mudiraptor, jumping in mucky puddles his mum told him not to go near. Other times he's a Readabookadocus, enjoying stories and a love of reading every day; or a Lovelyonychus, which includes being kind to his sister. One of our favourites is Nofocusadocus, when "I just have to look for my favourite toy while putting my shoes on".
Each trait is perfectly matched to a cute scene of the boy dressed up as a different dinosaur undertaking an apposite activity.
Two other notable dino-books we've enjoyed include:
Gigantosaurus by Jonny Duddle (Templar Publishing) is an enjoyable reworking of "the boy who cried wolf", where four dinokids try to avoid the STOMP and CRUNCH of a Gigantosaurus that wants them for its LUNCH. A fun facts page at the end provides a spread of 'bite-size' learning.
Ten Terrible Dinosaurs by Paul and Henrietta Stickland (Random House Children's Books), a sequel to their 'Dinosaur Roar', depicts a countdown of lively dinosaur antics through amusing rhymes and distinctive illustrations.