“ Genre: Junior Books / Reading Level: 1 / Author: Ruth Thomson / 32 pages / Book published 2000-08-24 by Dorling Kindersley „
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This dinosaur book is the easiest to read of our dinosaur collection. It is produced by DK (Doring Kindersly), the same company who published the last book I reviewed, Eyewonder Dinosaur. While Eyewonder Dinosaur is more of reference book though, this book is really designed as an early reader. As such it does not contain as much detailed information. It does manage to fit in a fair amount facts in a short story of a day in the life of a triceratops.
DK's readers are divided into 5 levels, pre level 1, and 1 -4. I do think just dividing into 5 levels would have been a lot easier. I also find the idea of a dinosaur book for beginning readers a bit difficult. I don't know any 5-6 year olds who can easily read words like "Pachycephalosaurus" or "Orinthomimus". But with the exception of some of the less familiar dinosaur names, my 6 year old was able to read this book with little difficulty. I found that he was able to read the more common names like Tyranosaurus and Triceratops easily enough.
I was unable to find an age level recommendation for this book on the UK sites, but Amazon.com (USA) lists this as Kindergarten - 2nd grade which would cover ages 5-8. I would think this would be too easy for most eight year olds, but my six year old certainly enjoyed it. My two year old also enjoys this book as a story since it has absolutely beautiful full colour illustrations printed on a high quality glossy paper. The illustrations are a mixture of photography of life like models and skillful paintings. The story is simple enough for him to follow along, and short enough to keep a young child's interest.
I especially like this book because I believe children learn to read easier when they have a wide variety of easy to read books about subjects they like, and what child doesn't like dinosaurs? I like the fact that it can be used as a story, or an early reader, and at the same time is teaching children some basic facts about dinosaurs as well. I have found quality non fiction books for beginning readers the most difficult to find, and I really believe DK leads the way in these books.
I would recommend this books as first non fiction story book for ages 2 - 4, and as a beginning reading book for ages 5-7. If you are really looking for something in depth to learn about dinosaurs from, I would recommend the Eyewonder book instead, but for a simple easy to read dinosaur book, this one takes the prize.
This book has 32 pages and is currently available from Amazon used at only £1.54 delivered.