Friday, October 10, 2008

Review: Tyrannosaurus Was a Beast

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!


Karen Edmisten said...

Having only girls, we've never gone through a full-fledged dinosaur phase. My two older girls do love Jurassic Park, but I think that has more to do with Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum than dinos. :)

Jules at 7-Imp said...

I'm so glad you posted about this. My girls are obsessed with dinosaurs. I'm gonna go look for this online at the library. Thanks!

Jules at 7-Imp said...

Found a copy and requested it. WOOT! Thanks again.

Andromeda Jazmon said...

Karen, I know what you mean. I guess I think boys will be more interested, but I am glad to hear that Jules's girls love dinos too! Good for you mama jules!

tanita✿davis said...

I like Jack with just about anything -- a fun informational book written with his flair must be great fun.

Linda said...

I once saw Jack perform some of his poems for an audience of teachers. I can just imagine how much fun kids would have with him.
Great book! I have it.

Yat-Yee said...

I love Jack's poems. Everything seems to be so natural, so rhythmical, and fun.

Mary Lee said...

And oldie and a goodie!

Sara said...

It's great to see your boys so ferocious in their reading choices! There were times with my two kids when I wanted them to be omnivorous in their reading habits, but they would instead get all wound up in one book and devour it over and over and over.