Deborah Kelly (text), Daron Parton (illus.) Dinosaur Disco, Random House, 1 October 2015, 32pp., $24.99 (hbk) ISBN 9780857981363
The dinosaurs are having a fabulous time at the disco “Heads bopping, tails swishing, grooving with the beats,” and showing some fantastic dance moves – salsa, conga, moonwalk. But then the music stops – and you won’t need three guesses to figure out who gate-crashes the party with a ground shaking entrance – but is it dinner he’s after, or a dance?
This book is fabulous fun and educational too! Kelly masterfully matches rhyme and rhythm with those long-winded dinosaur names:
“The doors open,
The crowd surges,
Music starts to pump.
This is a great, fun way for kids to learn about prehistoric animals and how to pronounce their names. The big font will have them even attempting to read along. After the story, children will want to gobble up the Dino facts and pronunciation in the double page spread of quirky (but true) details – Maiasaura couldn’t really moonwalk, and T-Rex’s arms were too short for him to pick his nose!
Parton’s illustrations for this fun romp are perfect – dressed up, anthropomorphised dinosaurs dancing (mostly on hind legs) from various angles. The shifting viewpoints add to the suspense of the narrative. The colour palette is mainly blue-green hues and a proliferation of purple, with flashes of red-orange for standout contrast. Most of the pages are full colour reflecting the sparkle and vitality of a disco – a visual feast. Beautifully presented with glossy dinosaurs and disco lights popping out from the matte cover.
Perfectly pitched to the target readership of Dino and dance loving 3-8 year olds. Fabulous fun to read aloud and twist your tongue around those tricky dinosaur names, with great potential to act out in the classroom – this book is a winner! Highly recommended.
Reviewed by Debra Tidball