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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Book Review: Dinosaur Countdown

written and illustrated by Nicholas Oldland
Nicholas Oldland Books
Hardcover Jacket
Grades: Toddler to 1 
Ages: 2 to 6 
4-color • 10 x 9 • 24 pages 
Math: Number Sense, counting
Language Arts:  Picture Books

Who doesn't love dinosaurs?  Even if you (or your child) are a little frightened of being trampled or ground into lunch meat in the jaws of a tyrannosaur, the dinosaurs in Nicholas Oldland’s Dinosaur Countdown all smile big and open their eyes wide, instilling a sense of trust that these dinosaurs are A-OK and disarmingly likeable.   

Oldland illustrates the dinosaurs charmingly and gives young readers pointers to notice small details in the pictures, challenging them to look closer.  In scientific terms, it associates the names and shapes of a few dinosaurs as well as introducing the words “herbivore” and “carnivore” in an innocuous manner, not to mention the pictorial demonstration of English vocabulary, such as lumber, soar, rear and saunter.  As Dinosaur Countdown gives the scientific names, it helpfully supplies readers with a pronunciation key in back.

One concern might be whether the exposure to scientific names helps (through exposure) or hinders (through intimidation) language acquisition.  However, that’s someone else’s PhD focus.  Meanwhile, this picture book is perfect for the early reader who loves dinosaurs.

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