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Publisher: Balzer + Bray, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers,
Material: hard cover
Summary: This is a picture book about a Sauropod (dinosaur) who sleeps in and gets left behind by his herd. He goes looking for them, and encounters a pack of predators. What should he do? Run? Hide? Fight? Alas, he can not do any of those very well, but he is BIG, so he just tells them to go away. He eventually finds his herd and has, apparently, learned his lesson about sleeping in! This picture book has lessons about responsibility and talents for preschoolers.
Type of Reading: family reading, playtime reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 6; read yourself: 6 to 9
Interest Level: 3 to 7
Reading Level: 1.2
Age of Child: Read with boys ages 4 and 6.
Young Reader Reaction: My sons picked this book, and they loved it! They are into dinosaurs. It was short so it kept their attention well. There are also LOTS of fun words like BOOM BOOM BOOM (as he chases the predators away) and GA-LUMP, GA-LUMP as he tries to run away. Filled with action and humor, this is a fun story.
Adult Reader Reaction: I liked the book somewhat. The story is fun; and the action words are exciting and fun to read to little kids, especially if you like using character voices. However, I was a bit underwhelmed by the maturity of the text. The author pushes the text to slang and made-up words more than I like. The illustrations, while effective, are not anything to write home about. Again, they work with the story, and are colorful and fun. One thing I did like about the book is that it encourages problem-solving: the sauropod has to figure out how to get away from the predators, and the text engages the child to respond to the situation by asking questions. It encourages the child to also explain why different solutions are not going to work, and uses size and shape in the problems. For those looking for dino books packed with scientific factoids, you won't find a whole lot here. The dino theme is just that, and the illustrations and text do not embellish or stay detail-true to dino study.
Pros: This is a fun story that engages the child with lots of action and problem solving.
Cons: The slag text is out of context for the story and the audience.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. Definitely worth a borrow from the library. For an avid dinosaur lover, this may become a favorite.
Educational Themes: There are lessons of all sorts packed in this story. There is the theme of being responsible (not sleeping in) and understanding your own talents (size). The major theme, though - and the one that engages the reader - is problem solving. This is a book you can use with early preschoolers to talk about color, size, object identification, too.
Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.
Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, animal characters, life lessons, dinosaurs, problem solving
Date(s) Reviewed: April 2012
Other Reviews: See Critics Reviews at barnesandnoble.com; and reviews and reader feedback at amazon.com.