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*Dinosaur Park* by Steve Weston
Dinosaur Park
by Steve Weston
Ages 5-8 42 pages Kingfisher October 2009 Hardcover    

Dinosaur Park combines reading with playing. Take one of the dinosaurs concealed inside the paper crate and figure out if it lives in T. Rex Valley, Maiasaura Forest, Triceratops Volcano or Diplodocus Lake by referring to the twenty-page field guide to Dinosaur Park.

Clues leading to the correct answer include footprints, background scenery and signage. Answer the one to three questions that appear in the four pop-up areas of Dinosaur Park by reading all the dinosaur facts in the field guide. For example, the T. Rex Valley pop-up page asks ‘Who hunts hadrosaurs?’ Two clues lead to the answer ‘T-Rex.’ Footprints on the pop-up scene match T-Rex’s footprints in the field guide, and under the heading of food, the field guide states that T-Rex eats hadrosaurs.

Dinosaur Park is a very interactive book. There are nine dinosaurs and two crocodiles to press out of paper and seven questions to answer in the four pop-up scenes. Ample clues in the field guide and on the pop-up pages ensure that children can answer the questions and place their pressed-out dinosaurs in the right scene. In addition, the dinosaurs, which are colored on both sides, can stand on their own once they are pressed out and the area by their legs is folded.

Young readers will learn some basic information about dinosaurs from the field guide in Dinosaur Park. For each dinosaur listed in the book, there is a pronunciation guide; size, weight, and diet information; illustrations of the footprints, and one or two facts about their appearance or activities.

The pop-up scenes which comprise Dinosaur Park are sturdy and quite large in area. Children may tire of playing with this pop-up book once they know the answers to the questions, but for the information it can teach young dinosaur lovers, it works well.

This book has a place for everything. Easy-to-follow directions for using the book are located on the back cover, and directions for making the dinosaurs stand appear on the inside envelope. The field guide is attached to the inside of the book beside the pop-up scenes, and the crate-resembling envelope holding the dinosaurs is attached to the back inside cover.

Parents looking for nonfiction dinosaur books for four to six-year-olds may find this book helpful as an introduction. The information is presented in a fun way, and because it’s so interactive, it’s likely to keep a child’s attention.

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  Tanya Boudreau/2009 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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