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Florian, Atheneum, March 2009, 48p., ISBN:  978--1-4169-7978-4  

Which geologic period came first: the Jurassic, the Cretaceous, or the  
Triassic?  I could not have told you last week, but thanks to reading  Douglas 
Florian's DINOTHESAURUS I have discovered a fun way to  remember:
"The dinosaurs
First lived outdoors 
During the time Triassic.
While most died out, 
Some came about
Later in the Jurassic.
Then they evolved,
As Earth revolved,
In times known as Cretaceous.
But now indoors
Great dinosaurs
Fill museum halls, spacious.
Accompanying this dino-poem on a two-page spread (the first of twenty) is a 
 hysterically funny illustration of a window-filled museum with dinosaurs 
craning  their heads out in places and skeletal parts visible in other 
places.   Douglas Florian has created these lots-to-look-at illustrations with  
"gouache, collage, colored pencils, stencils, dinosaur dust, and rubber  
stamps on primed brown paper bags."  I suspect that sharing  and explaining THAT 
knowledge about picturebook illustrative technique will  inspire some 
dino-mighty art projects.
And while I'm not by any means suggesting that 86-year old Ashley  Bryan is 
a dinosaur, just because I'm dragging his name into this review,  but 
Ashley totally inspired me the other night at this year's  Newbery Caldecott 
banquet with the rousing call-and-response  chants of poems he led during his 
Laura Ingalls Wilder Award  acceptance speech.  In similar fashion, one can 
take any  of Douglas Florian's poems from DINOTHESAURUS and do similar  
call-and-response chants with kids.  That's my plan for injecting  poetry and 
high-spirited audience participation into a set of booktalks  that I have 
scheduled for later this week.  Try this one out:    
steg-oh-SAW-rus (roof lizard)
Dined on plants inside the forest.
Bony plates grew on its back,
Perhaps to guard it from attack.
Or to help identify
A Stegosaurus girl or guy.
Its brain was smaller than a plum.
Stegosaurus was quite DUMB."
Most everyone loves dinosaurs (Not that we'd necessarily want one showing  
up in the backyard.), and there are many dinosaur books out there.  But so  
frequently, dinosaur books seem to contain long, encyclopedic entries  that 
cause many young readers to look at the dinosaur names and the images while  
skipping the text.  In rocking, rollicking contrast, DINOTHESAURUS is  
readable, lyrical, and fun while still being irreverently and  subversively 
BARE-ee-ON-icks (heavy claw)
"He had a huge and heavy claw
And crocodile-like skull.
A lashing, slashing dino-saw --
A sharpie; never dull.
His claws and jaws and pointed teeth
Were fashioned to attack.
If Bary you should ever meet--
Ask him to scratch your back."
DINOTHESAURUS concludes with a "Glossarysaurus;" a listing of dinosaur  
museums and fossil sites; and selected biography and further reading.  
Douglas Florian's DINOTHESAURUS is a picture book that is chock-full of  
cool poetry; great illustrations with kid sensibilities, and is a must-have  
that will be a favorite of dino-lovers everywhere.
Richie  Partington, MLIS
Moderator, _ 
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