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STOMP AND CHOMP

Page history last edited by RichiesPicks 6 months, 2 weeks ago

4 October 2023 STOMP AND CHOMP: MY FIRST BOOK OF DINOSAURS by Simon Mole and Matt Hunt, ill,, Candlewick, October 2023, 80p., ISBN: 978-1-5362-324-3

 

“You know tyrannosaurus rex was destroyed before

By a furry little ball that crawled along

The primeval jungle floor

He stole the eggs of the dinosaur

Close your eyes & create the sound

Open your hands & rebuild the ground

We are egg snatchers! (egg snatchers!)”

– Paul Kantner (1970)

 

“Natural history artist Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins unveiled his dinosaur sculptures in 1854. These were the world’s first full-scale reconstructions of dinosaurs and represent the first three species discovered. Dinosaurs were still a relatively new discovery in the mid-1800s.”

– from the (British) Natural History Museum website

 

“PARASAUROLOPHUS ECHOES 

(PAIR-uh-saw-RAWL-uh-fus)

 

When a Parasaurolophus blows air

through the tubes and passageways in its crest,

when its breath whooshes up the little tunnels inside,

it lets out a long…low…bellowing…cry,

 

Scientifically shown to be a similar sound

to a cow playing a trumpet in a cave,

Or a goose troupe tooting kazoos.

Or one very grizzly goat

with a didgeridoo.

 

And, OK, that got a little silly, but

imagine hundreds and hundreds in a herd:

each calling to another, back and forth.

A constant chorus. Deep. Majestic.

 

Echoing for miles and miles,

Echoing through the forest.

Echoing up past the treetops

and out into the sky.”

 

Since the days of Waterhouse Hawkins, little kids (and not-so-little kids) have been transfixed by the enormity and exoticness of dinosaurs. During the 1961-62 school year, this old dinosaur visited the American Museum of Natural History, and experienced the life-size models there for the first time. There were few subsequent school field trips that came close to measuring up to the awesomeness of that experience.

 

Dinosaur books are an easy sell and STOMP AND CHOMP, with its colorful, oversized, mixed-media depictions of dozens of dinosaur species, will be no exception. It makes a lot of sense for the publisher to be promoting it for the preschool and kindergarten crowd (ages 2 through 5). 

 

But so much of this book will be wasted on the rugrats. This, to me, is an excellent picture book for older readers. It will be the upper elementary students, who already have experience with dinosaur books, classroom lessons, and possibly field trips, who will glory in this one. While the little ones “ooh!” and “ah!” over the pictures, it will be the bigger kids who will be impressed by all the new species that have been discovered in recent decades. They will try decoding the Latin syllabification, and reading aloud the descriptive and fun poems. (Some teachers will be smart enough to have students each memorize one of the poems.) The backmatter is minimal, but I searched a sampling of the facts cited, and they all appeared accurate and up-to-date.

 

The bottom line: STOMP AND CHOMP is a seriously tasty addition to kids dinosaur lit. Pair it with Brian Selznick’s Caldecott Honor book on Waterhouse Hawkins.

 

“THERIZINOSAURUS: A RECIPE

(THAIR-uh-ZEEN-uh-SAUR-us)

 

Carefully remove one evil sea serpent

from a fairy tale or myth,

then whack it on the body

of an oversize potbellied ostrich.

 

Grab a fancy feathery peacock tail

and heat it in the shape-shifter

until it quadruples in size.

Add it to the mix. Leave to settle.

 

Now here’s the final touch!

Six swords, roughly the length of your arm.

Sprinkle three on each side, 

and stand well back.

 

A Cretaceous specialty

best served with caution.”

 

Richie Partington, MLIS

Richie's Picks http://richiespicks.pbworks.com

https://www.facebook.com/richiespicks/    

richiepartington@gmail.com  

 

 

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