I’m a Dirty Dinosaur

Janeen Brian, illus. by Ann James. Kane Miller, $11.99 (22p) ISBN 978-1-61067-296-2
A buoyant dinosaur revels in the mud in this paper-over-board story, first published in Australia. Brian’s repeating rhymes take on the cadence of a song— almost like a mud-themed version of the “Hokey Pokey”—as the raptorlike dinosaur becomes increasingly muddy. James outlines the dinosaur in loose, sketchlike lines, turning its white body into a canvas for the mud it collects (the artist uses actual mud to create the spatters and puddles that fill the pages). The virtually monochromatic brown-and-white pictures and simple black lettering are offset by the large all-caps font in bright crayon-box colors that underscores the dinosaur’s actions like a refrain: “I’m a dirty dinosaur with a dirty tum./ I splatter it with mud and I tap it like a drum./ Tap, Tap, Tap, Tap,/ Tap it like a drum.” Brian’s narrative lends itself to reading aloud, and it invites both chiming in and imitating the dinosaur’s movements (preferably sans mud). Better still, the sturdy pages are sufficiently coated for easy wiping off if muddy fingers do happen to turn them. Ages 2–5. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/04/2014
Release date: 06/01/2014
Genre: Children's
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