I WANNA BE A GREAT BIG DINOSAUR by Heath McKenzie
Published by Scholastic Australia
Who wants to be a great big dinosaur? Everyone!
A perfectly pitched book!
I read I wanna be a great big dinosaur book to my four-year-old nephew who coincidentally is a great big dinosaur when he is not a superhero or a fierce brown bear.
We were hooked from the moment we opened the cover and saw the retro catalogue of dinosaur life forms. It sparked the conversation of how a meat eater is different from his vegetarian cousins. Then we engaged deep into the text … together we roared and we stomped and were enchanted by the beautiful bold and simple illustrations. The dinosaur is particularly delightful and his yellow eyeballs are deceptively expressive.
We roared and we stomped some more and then the book took a twist as the boy introduces the dinosaur to the things that boys enjoy and find important. From then on the dinosaur is chowing down on sushi, playing soccer and hilariously—becomes engrossed in a video game. The dinosaur has a light bulb moment and wants to be a little boy. It was at this point my two-year-old nephew came out from under the desk where he had been drawing and listening with one ear cocked in our direction—entranced by the words, he decided to check out the book and pictures. The thought of a dinosaur playing video games tends to have that effect on kids.
By now both children were fully entranced when sadly the book came to an end as the boy and the dinosaur settle on pretending to be each other. What did we do? We went straight back to the beginning and read it again. And the three of us enjoyed its fabulous illustrations, its wry humour and the short but perfectly formed story.
The book resonates well with children from the age of two to six, particularly little boys and great big dinosaurs.
CKT Book Reviewer
Author/ Illustrator: Heath McKenzie
Title: I WANNA BE A GREAT BIG DINOSAUR
Publisher: Scholastic Australia
Published: May 2015