Hello, friends! Our book today is If I Had A Dinosaur by Alex Barrow & Gabby Dawnay, an absolutely adorable tale of a little girl’s dream pet.
Dogs are nice, she already has a cat, but the girl who narrates the story is looking for a different kind of pet. Not a hamster or a mouse… no… something BIGGER. A dinosaur would do (a Titanosaurus perhaps, based on the nonfiction prologue). She could teach it tricks and take it to the park, even ride it to school. The dinosaur would be clever, learning to count and recite the alphabet. And she’s totally up to caring for it: she would feed it lots of leafy greens and dig it a nice pond to swim in, even brush its teeth. And in return, she would have the most loyal, lovely, and long-necked friend to share her days with.
So. Darn. Cute. As regular readers know, JJ is a fan of dinosaurs – you may have even noticed her loyal reading buddy, Mr. Dinosaur. And from the first appearance of the sweet-faced, bright-green dino of the books, she was delighted. It’s a fun twist on the familiar “unusual pet” theme, with a few details that make it stand out. The bouncy rhyming text is jaunty and fun to read aloud; the simple, cheerful illustrations are cute and colorful, and filled with clever little details for sharper-eyed readers (see if you can find the fun nod to the Harry Potter universe); and it features a multi-racial cast, including a protagonist of color and her family. One content warning: there is an entire spread devoted to the question of how to clean dino-sized droppings with an unsubtle depiction of such (think the poop emoji with no face). But if that doesn’t bother you, you’re in store for a cheery read. The length was fine, JJ AND Mr. Dinosaur loved it, and it’s definitely Baby Bookworm approved!
(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the author in exchange for an honest review.)