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On the very last day of the nursery term my 4 year old youngest son was given his first reading book by his teachers. It was Harry and The Dinosaurs Had Fun. After reading this one with me a couple of times, he was suddenly very enthusiastic about this particular character, so I looked through our books we own and found this one.
We have an absolute abundance of books in our house. Not only do I go a bit nutty buying books myself, but we also qualify for Dolly Parton's Imagination library where every child aged under 5 in Rotherham gets a free book sent via the post once a month. This book must have been in our house at least 18 months, and although read at first, it had been pushed aside for more popular stories until my son's renewed interest in this character. It's a shame really we have more than we know what to do with as he has actually really enjoyed hearing this one again.
This is a simple story, I would recommend that it is for children of at least two years old, and up to 4 and at a push, 5 years olds will sit and listen to this. The story is a pretty simple one presented over 6 sets of double pages. Harry is playing hide and seek with his toy dinosaurs. As he wanders round the house, he finds them hiding behind cushions, in Gran's knitting basket, in Mum's boot. Finally Harry hides and the dinosaurs find him.
There is a bit of a flap book element to this story, with the second page actually being a folded in page with some holes. For example, on the first double paged spread, you can see Harry bending down to look at a blue cushion. The cushion is actually a cut out shape and when you lift the page up, there is a different picture of Harry finding a dinosaur under the blue cushion. While the pictures are linked, there is a bit of artistic license to the situation in my opinion. As you fold out the page, the word for the colour is printed on the page too. I do like the way the colours are used in this book so you are re-inforcing learning without it seeming like it.
My 5 year old son can read quite well these days, but because there are quite complicated dinosaur names in the story, he didn't fancy reading it for us. He wanted me to read through it and for him to read the word of the colour. My 4 year old was more concerned with being the one who got to lift the page up to see what was hiding. The pages in this are quite a thick paper, but one of our pages has been torn when the boys were younger and a bit more over-enthusiastic about lifting flaps.
I feel this book is more for parents to read to their child rather than early readers tackling themselves for reasons already given. I don't blame my son for shying away from reading it as I find I have to really think about how to pronounce the dinosaur names too, and I only manage it as we have seen them phonetically spelt out elsewhere in another book we own. They can be a bit tongue twisting.
This is a fun little book, which has had a little short lived reprieve in our household. Really, I think we are coming to the end of this type of story but the boys cling on to it. This is published by Puffin books, and it has a RRP of £5.99.
My son does love Harry and his bucketful of Dinosaurs so when he notices Harry and the Dinosaurs play hide and seek in the Library he immediately wanted to take it home.
Who are Harry and his dinosaurs?
Harry is a young boy who found the dinosaurs in a box in his Gran's loft. He cleaned and mended them and now takes them around in his bucket. His dinosaurs talk but only quietly so harry can see them. The Harry books are written by Ian Whybrow.
This book is all about the day Harry and his Dinosaurs played a simple game of hide and seek. The reader and is asked to help Harry find the dinosaurs. Each page has a dinosaur hiding but what this also does is use a different colour for each page. The dinosaurs hide behind a blue cushion, a yellow hat and other various coloured places. By opening the page out into a double spread you discover which dinosaur is hiding where. The final page Harry disappears and when you open the double page you see him jumping out and saying "Boo"
My son is three and although he already does know colours and this book could be seen as a little young I discovered when I did a course on children and play I discovered that actually children gain confidence from doing something they can already does so was happy for him to take it home.
As my son is older I did this book slightly differently and would ask him what the dinosaur was hiding behind. He also does know the names of most of the dinosaurs and it is a good chance for him to practise this. Although my son does play hides and seek he doesn't actually play it correctly and will tell the seeker where everyone is hiding much to the annoyance of older children and I am not sure this book will do anything to address that issue. I do like the fact that the book does use the correct names for the dinosaurs as some of the younger aged Harry books do not. At the end when Harry jumps out I shout boo and try and make him jump this has him in hysterics every time.
The Illustrations are bold and bright and each dinosaur does jump out happily. The Characters are easily recognisable from the TV series and the dinosaurs all do look friendly and happy. Strangely the pterodactyl is not featured in this book which is a little disappointing as it is one of my son's favourite dinosaurs and usually is with Harry's other dinosaurs.
This is a book that my son will happily sit on my lap and read but also will flick through this book on his own. I do like this book for the simple reason that it is education but fun.
I would suggest that this book would be ideal for a two year old but will be enjoyed long beyond that age. It doesn't have the depth of the usual books he writes as it is seems to be targeted at a younger audience.
If you are interested in purchasing this book it is currently available from Amazon for £3.89 with free supersaver delivery or through the market place for 99p with £2.75 postage and cheaper for second hand one.
ISBN no. 0140569839
This is one of many books in the popular series of books by Ian Whybrow.
- Content, Style and Format -
Harry and his dinosaurs are playing hide-and-seek in this book and the reader is asked to help Harry find his dinosaurs.
The book's main focus is on colours and vocabulary relating to position:
'Who's that hiding under the blue cushion?'
'Who's that hiding behind the red towel?'
'Who's that hiding inside Nan's purple knitting basket?'
The questions are mainly on the left hand page, the right hand page showing a picture of Harry and the object. This page then opens out to the right and underneath this large flip page is the object and the dinosaur that is hiding.
The fold out page also has a cut-out section showing the object from the hidden page underneath.
After finding all of his dinosaurs, Harry then hides from them and pops out from behind the curtains, "Boo! Here I am!"
- Educational Values -
~ Learning and identifying the following colours: blue, yellow, red, purple and green.
~ Sight recognition of the words for the colours.
~ Learning the names of dinosaurs.
~ Vocabulary relating to positions: inside, behind and under.
- Harry and his Bucketful of Dinosaurs -
Harry is a five year old little boy who has a bucketful of toy dinosaurs which he alone is able to communicate with. The other characters in some of the other books in the series are his Mum, Nan, his sister Sam and his best friend Charlice.
Following the success of the books, there is an animated tv series and an official website at www.Harryandhisbucketfulofdinosaurs.com
The website has games to play, characters to learn more about, a see and sing section and lots more!
- Other books in the series -
Harry and the Dinosaurs at the museum
Harry and the Dinosaurs go wild
Harry and the Dinosaurs say Raahh
Harry and the Dinosaurs tell the time
Harry and the Dinosaurs have a busy day
Harry and the Dinosaurs make a Christmas wish
- Price -
ISBN: 0-140-56983-9 costs £5.99 but the following are available from amazon:
Paperbacks from 28p
Hardcovers from just 1p
- Overall -
Unlike some of the other books in this series this is more suited to pre-school children who are at the early stages of colour recognition.
The text is simple and very young children are able to commit this to memory quite quickly and therefore join in with the story-telling.
The illustrations by Adrian Reynolds are humorous and he captures the feelings of Harry and his dinosaurs through their facial expressions.
Overall, a very good book to teach young children basic colour recognition and vocabulary relating to position.
Harry is a little boy who has a bucketful of toy dinosaurs. They come to life with the help of his imagination and they have wonderful adventures together. They can be regularly seen on Channel 5 in the morning on the children's Milkshake programme. If you want to know more about the TV series then please feel free to read my review of this for further details.
Ian Whybrow is the author of the many Harry books out there but is also well known for his Little Wolf stories that have also been made into television programmes. His humour makes these books a joy to read but there are also important social lessons in most of these books too.
Adrian Reynolds provides the illustrations for this series of books and has also worked with authors such as Jeanne Willis and Jonathan Emmett.
This story starts with all the dinosaurs hiding from Harry,
"Harry and the dinosaurs are playing hide-and-seek!
Can you help Harry to find his dinosaurs?"
On each page there is a fold over page with a peep through hole, where we see a little tail poking out. When the fold over page is opened we see that Harry has found one of his dinosaurs,
"Who's that hiding under the blue cushion?
Found you, Apatosaurus!"
Every dinosaur is very pleased to be found and the story ends when all the dinosaurs are back in Harry's bucket and he does a little disappearing act himself. The dinosaurs are confused until Harry jumps from behind a curtain,
"'Boo! Here I am!' says Harry."
As well as the flaps as an added extra, there is also the opportunity for your child to learn about blue, yellow, red, purple and green in this book. Every time a dinosaur hides, they are behind a different coloured object such as a yellow hat or a green boot. When the flap is turned then the name of the colour is written on top of a thick band of it. Down the far right there are the five colours written alongside the appropriate coloured circle.
The drawings in this book are wonderful and the expressions on Harry and his dinosaurs really make you smile as you read it. They are very animated and really bring the story to life. The bright colours are very eye catching and this helps get a child's attention.
My son loves dinosaurs and this book is ideal for him. He is already good with colours but is starting to take an interest in words now so with the name of the colour written both in the text itself, as well as over the flap, he is able to compare them and this helps with his word recognition.
The story is very simple for a young child to follow and of course all toddlers seem to love flap books. The problem with some of them is that they tear very easily. With this flap being a full fold out page, I feel it is not as likely to get torn off and lost as with other books.
The peep through sections are fun and give your child the chance to try to guess which one of the dinosaurs is hiding. If they are fans of the show then they will probably not only know the type of dinosaur it is but it's name in the show too.
The illustrations are really exciting as Harry looks all round the house and garden for his friends. The simple details are a delight to look at and you almost feel as though the dinosaurs will jump off the page at you.
This book really is a joy to read to my son and he has picked up the story quite quickly by himself too, as I often hear him reciting it in the background. This is a book I would highly recommend for any fan of the show or for any child who loves to play hide-and-seek.
***Other Harry Books***
Harry and the Dinosaurs Make a Christmas Wish
Harry and the Dinosaurs and the Bucketful of Stories
Harry and the Dinosaurs Have a Very Busy Day
Harry and the Dinosaurs Tell the Time
Harry and the Dinosaurs Go Wild
Harry and the Dinosaurs Go To School
Harry and the Dinosaurs at the Museum
Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs Say 'Rahhh!'
Harry and the Bucketful of Pop-up Dinosaurs
***Price and Availability***
This paperback book is priced at £5.99 but is available from Tesco for only £4.49.
ISBN No. 0140569839