I grew up with The Land Before Time. It’s the first film I can remember seeing at the cinema and one that I watched over and over on video. I loved those dinos! Such characters!

So when Gigantosaurus arrived I was instantly whipped back to the eighties and my adventures with Cera, Ducky and Littlefoot. This book feels like a contemporary version of their antics, with all the personality and humour and fun of the film.

Of course the artwork is stunning and full of character and detail – it’s Jonny Duddle! And I love that the dust jacket from the hardback edition pulls out to a huge dino poster, perfect for classrooms, libraries and kids’ bedroom walls. But the real joy is the language. This book is crying out to be read aloud, preferably by someone who is really good at doing voices and excels at whipping kids into a frenzy of nervous excitement.

Gigantosaurus is full of wonderful repetition and rhyme, with loads of opportunities for calling out, foot stamping and shouting along with the story. The vocabulary is gorgeous with a lovely mix of new language for children to learn and words that you just need to shout out with glee.

It feels like Duddle has sat in on a lot of crazy reception classes and watched what really gets the children going. He seriously knows his audience and exactly how to write for them. In fact, it’s as if he has been watching my daughter’s class while they roar their way through their pirates topic with their crazy teacher who thinks she has failed if every child hasn’t bounced with joy each day. And that’s where this book belongs. In that room of fun and adventure, where 28 children can roar and stomp and shout along with the story, run their fingers over the art work and run off to build their own dinosaur look-out in the playground. Their book of the week next week is Duddle’s Pirate Cruncher. I think I’ll deliver this one to them in preparation!


Source: kindly sent for review by Templar Publishing.

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