Top critical review
on 10 December 2015
Ask most children if dinosaurs are cool and you will get an emphatic – Yes! The thought that giant looming monsters once roamed the Earth, fighting and eating eat one other, sounds exciting. It is important to encourage this enthusiasm and there are loads of books that are full of dinosaur facts, but are there any full of dinosaur fun as well?
‘‘Dino Dinners’’ is a book produced by the Natural History Museum that combines the fun of reading about how dinosaurs used to eat one another (and pooped), but also has added informative asides throughout. Each double page centres on a dinosaur and centrally shows an illustration and a few facts about their physicality and eating habits. Along the side of the pages are columns that contain more in depth information for those youngsters keen to know more on the subject.
Like Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom’s other books in the series, ‘‘Dino Dinners’’ is a great mix of information that is suitable for a range of age groups; four year olds all the way to ten. Whilst the younger children can enjoy the pictures and simple naughty facts, the older children get a lot more high quality information. Unfortunately, unlike something like ‘‘Woolly Mammoth’’, this book does not quite have the shame charm.
‘‘Woolly’’ was a book that has all the same elements as ‘‘Dino Dinners’’, but also had the added benefit of a story that added great charm. This outing for Manning and Granstrom feels more clinical and no amount of amusing asides about scat is going to hide this. A little warmth can paper over some of the minor flaws that the duo bring to the series, mostly surrounding the illustrations. Although colourful and eye catching, the pictures feel a little naive in places for such a fact based book. There is no story to suggest that the book is open to artistic licence, therefore the Dinos on show here should have been drawn a little cleaner and clinically.
The fact remain that, even though the book is a little messy in places, dinosaurs loving kids will adore the book. Combining fighting and pooping with dinosaurs is a win/win, but there are other, better illustrated, books about the subject matter out there. For your money you get a 32 page full colour book with quality paper that a child will enjoy, but sometimes you want just a little bit more. Original review on bookbag.co.uk