Dinosaur Poems by Jack Prelutsky, illustrated by Arnold Lobel. Scholastic, 1988. This is my two young sons' current favorite bedtime story. I had forgotten we even had the book until they found it on the bookshelf. Even when I try to pick something else they insist on searching for this book and bring it to the story spot, snuggling down on the pillows clutching it and discussing which poems we will read first. The two of them take turns picking a dinosaur poem from the title page, which has little avatar-like illustrations of each dinosaur. The newly-minted ritual is firm: youngest picks first, older brother picks last.
There are fourteen dinosaurs featured, some well known and some less familiar, such as Tyrannosuarus, Brachiosuarus, Leptopterygius (lep-toe-ter-IDGE-ee-us) and Questzalcoatulus (ket-sol-ko-AT-lus). Those pronunciations are given under the full page illustration for each dinosaur, thankfully. My three-year old's favorite poem starts out:
"Leptopterygius lived in the ocean,
Leptopterygius swam very fast,
its head was enormous, its fangs were abundant,
its temper ferocious, its appetite vast."
This poem is fun to say because it flows like music and it perfectly describes some of the qualities most fascinating to little boys. If you've got a dinosaur lover in your family this is the poetry book for you.
More on Jack Prelutsky and his poems at The Poetry Foundation. View the book illustrations and read a few more poems at Google book search.
Poetry Friday is at Picture Book of the Day today. Enjoy!