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Dinothesaurus: Prehistoric Poems and Paintings    by Douglas Florian order for
by Douglas Florian
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 2009 (2009)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

I have a soft spot for children's poetry, and this collection of poems about dinosaurs deserves a place on the shelf, both at home and at school. My children and I have also enjoyed Douglas Florian's poetry in the past, particularly Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars: Space Poems and Paintings.

Kids of all ages will love these clever and humorous poems - they're just the right length, they're witty and they're even informative. Here's one of my favorites, Troodon:

'Said to be brainy.
Said to be bright.
But what did it read?
And what did it write?
Said to be crafty.
Said to be smart.
But did it make music?
Or did it do art?
Said to be witty
And wise when it thinked.
If it was so smart,
How come it's extinct?

Other, equally terrific poems are about the Pterosaurs ('They were not ptame. They were ptenacious'); the Triceratops ('Try-scare-a-top. Try-wouldn't-want-to-dare-a-tops'); and the very polite Plesiosaurs (they always say please before they bite).

The writer uses mixed media with a collage-like effect and lots of humorous details. Florian's artful use of wordplay and his rhythmic verses, combined with the hugely popular subject matter, make Dinothesaurus a true delight. A bonus glossarysaurus is included at the end of the book.

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