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These four small paperbacks teach toddlers and preschoolers about some basic concepts. They all feature colorful dinosaurs like the ones from Strickland’s Dinosaur Roar! picture book.

Dinosaur Colors introduces children to eight colors (red, yellow, orange, blue, purple, pink, brown, green) by showing one dinosaur and one word for every two pages. Under the text “red” (all in small red-colored letters), a red dinosaur looks like he wants to surprise us with a roar. Red footprints appear across the bottom of the page. Appearing next to him is another red dinosaur, this one chewing an oversized bone. The following pages follow the same format. The colors are bright and the dinosaurs are active.

Dinosaur Opposites is illustrated with double-page spreads. The dinosaurs contrast in size or mood or appearance to show the difference between contrasting (and rhyming) words such as sweet and grumpy, spiky and lumpy. Parents may have to help children figure out why some pictures are labeled as they are. For example, it’s not clear why two dinosaurs are labelled “good” or which parts of the dinosaurs at the beginning of the book are labeled “short” and “long.”

Dinosaur Shapes has more words per page. Sentences that ask questions replace the single-word format from the previous two books. Children are asked to count the points on stars, to count and find shapes, and to pick out the biggest shape from a row of three. Other shapes mentioned are triangles, rectangles, ovals, diamonds, circles, and hearts.

Dinosaur Numbers is told in rhyming sentences. The dinosaurs are described and counted on each page (One big dinosaur standing all alone. / Two Hungry dinosaurs biting on some bones.). One page shows the number as a digit and as a word (1 / one), and the adjacent page shows the word in a sentence with a variety of dinosaurs acting out the scenario. Just like the other three books, this one ends with a double-page spread that shows all the dinosaurs together. They can easily be used to review what was previously discussed in the other books.


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  Tanya Boudreau/2014 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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