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If You Happen to Have a Dinosaur by L. Bailey

Bailey, Linda.  If You Happen to Have a Dinosaur.  Illus. Colin Jack. Toronto: Tundra Books-Random House of Canada, 2014. Print.

Author, illustrator, and publisher, here, have produced a winning fiction for the child who is going through his or her “dinosaur phase.”  All manner of dinosaurs – bipeds and quadrupeds, giants and midgets, winged and horned, parade through this picture book in glorious color.  We are invited to consider a quite exhaustive list of uses for these creatures – should we happen to have any “lying around the living room.”  A typically delightful illustration features a bright blue brontosaurus (otherwise known as an “apatosaurus”) being used to jack up the family van; it is just one of countless suggestions for dinosaur usage.

Technically, the book is perfect for its intended audience.  The drawings are clear, well defined and boldly colored.  The font is large.  The text is perfectly married to the illustrations.  It is also well within the spoken vocabulary of kindergarten and primary school children.  The pre-reader will probably memorize it fairly quickly.  The beginning reader will see in context those words that are not part of the early reading curriculum, and, after a time or two through with adult help, should be able to read the book independently.

All in all, this book is a romp.  Find your inner seven-year-old, read it, and have a good giggle.

Reviewer: Leslie Aitken
Highly Recommended: 4 out of 4 stars

Leslie Aitken’s long career in librarianship involved selection of children’s literature for school, public, special, and university collections.  She is a former Curriculum Librarian at the University of Alberta.