Dinosaur Munch! The Diplodocus by Jeanne Willis

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The World of Dinosaur Roar series. Macmillan, 2017. ISBN 9781509835652
(Ages: 2-4) Recommended. Board Book, Dinosaurs, Rhyme. A tactile front cover and a bright blue, cheeky-looking diplodocus will draw young children to this small board book. It is just one in a series of books (The World of Dinosaur Roar) based on the classic picture book Dinosaur Roar, which have been developed in association with the Natural History Museum in London. An initial introduction page provides the reader with a helpful pronunciation guide for those hard to pronounce dinosaur names, also giving them a cute moniker (e.g. Dinosaur Chew, Dinosaur Whack, etc.). The text length is age-appropriately short but manages to provide a basic introduction to the diplodocus's physiology, diet and habitat. The simple story is about Dinosaur Munch and his tummy that never felt full after lunch. He eats and eats and eats but he is still hungry. Facts are cleverly hidden within the main text (e.g. 'With a swish of his neck and his rows of huge teeth') and the illustrations (different types of dinosaur are shown side by side to highlight size, shape, form etc.). It uses suitable analogies that will be within young readers' realms of experience (e.g. 'long neck like a giraffe', 'as long as three buses') and appropriate and familiar vocabulary as well as some topic specific words such as 'herbivore'. The humorous ending sees the still hungry Munch chewing on his own tail. The fact page at the back reinforces all the visual information provided about the dinosaur's appearance in short, clear sentences (also represented visually). The dinosaurs are fun and cheeky and the unique traits of different species of dinosaur are emphasised both visually and textually. This book has obviously been developed with the highest regard for the prior understandings and needs of its young target audience. It is a high-quality story/information book for very young children, especially dinosaur lovers.
Nicole Nelson