“ Author: Unknown author / Format: Hardback / Date of publication: 03 September 2012 / Genre: Press Out & Kit Books / Subcategory: Picture & Activity Books / Category: Interactive & Activity Books & Packs / Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Ltd / Title: Make Your Own T-Rex / ISBN 13: 9781409376439 / ISBN 10: 1409376439 „
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There are some books that are a joy to discover with children and this is the case here - it's more than just a book being, as the title would suggest a craft activity and book in one. This A4 sized book is 5 centimetres thick as it contains a hidden box containing all you will need to make an impressively big 83 cm long T-Rex for display. The finished model is really great and also quite sturdy as the pieces are of board book thickness with the T-Rex skeleton, in photo form, printed on them.
Making the T-Rex:
When my 8 year old daughter got this she was very keen to get stuck in with the making and to find out more about the dinosaur she would be making. What's nice is that the front of the book is a 30 page booklet that combines interesting facts about the dinosaur and dinosaurs in general with very clear instructions in photo form. To make the skeleton the 71 pieces had to be removed from 11 boards, as they were perforated they came out easily. There was no mess or waste as, cleverly, the 11 boards were used to make up the cardboard plinth on which the finished item stands. What I really liked was that the pieces of the skeleton were clearly numbered both in the book and also on the pieces themselves, and that the instructions are fully integrated in the book. This means that whilst following the directions to put together the leg and foot bones the top half of the page tells you how fast the dinosaur moved and how scientists found out that information from fossils.
The actual book part of this item is only 30 pages long and quite a lot of it is the instructions but I still felt that quite a lot of information is included and, as you might expect if you are familiar with other DK titles, the information is engagingly and intelligently presented in a way that is guaranteed to appeal to even the most reluctant reader. I learned a few facts myself - I hadn't realised that only 4 specimens of T-rex had been found before 1980. The one that is constructed here is a copy of one found in Montana, USA. I was interested too in the construction which sees the dinosaur in 1:40 scale being made into what we now know is it's walking position, horizontal rather than upright as T-Rex used to be portrayed. I'm not a dinosaur expert but the information in this book seems good and my 8 year old certainly enjoyed both the book and the making. She needed a little assistance at slotting some of the pieces together but I think we both found the making satisfying and interesting. It took us about an hour to make the model all together, with lots of discussion as we made it and it has been proudly displayed ever since. It was an educational and fun way to spend a rainy afternoon.
The Finished Model:
The finished T-Rex is very solid and stays together well, the cardboard is thick and glossy and all in all it has the feel of a quality item. A nice touch is that it has been planned in such a way that once made you can't actually see the numbers on the pieces. It's a once only make I think, and not something that we would take apart and do again, but it's a really nice thing to have on display and we enjoyed making it. I think it would make a nice present for a child, at the £10.49 it is currently on sale for at Amazon it's not a particularly cheap buy, but I think it is worth it if you know a child who is really interested in dinosaurs or enjoys art and craft. Learning doesn't get much better than this!
Book received as part of the Amazon Vine programme