Tyranno-sort-of Rex by Christopher Llewelyn; illustrated by Scott Tulloch (2015)

[Published by Scholastic New Zealand]

dinoHave you spent hours scratching your head over the instructions provided with kit-set furniture? Now imagine you have no instructions, and rather than a bookshelf, you’re putting together a dinosaur skeleton. Yup, that’s right, hilarious.

A ship’s cargo of three neatly packed sets of dinosaur bones arrive at the dock in a sad state, having weathered a violent storm. No longer divided, the bones are now merrily higglety pigglety.

Their delivery to the City Museum museum late at night and the day before an advertised exhibition of dinosaurs creates something of a challenge for the curator.

After a long night of sweating over power tools and unidentified bones, the curator creates three… um… sort of dinosaur skeletons.IMG_1907[1]

“Through half-closed eyes, it sort of looked fine,
but scattered around were spare bits of spine.
The leftover bones he’d just have to hide,
as people were already queueing outside.”

His various attempts at dinosaur creation are fantastic, and while regular dinosaurs are fairly crazy, these things are off the scale wacky. Told in fabulous rhyming verse, this story will have your audience in fits of laughter.

Check out Tyranno-sort-of-Rex at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Tyranno-Sort-of Rex from Fishpond.


All aboard the dinosaur express by Timothy Knapman; illustrated by Ed Eaves (2015)

[Published by Bloomsbury Publishing]


I love conversations with small dinosaur fans who are sticklers for correct identification, pulling out lines like, “That’s not a brontosaurus, it’s an apatosaurus”. How can you even know something like that? You’re five years old!

From the moment you open the cover of this gorgeous book you find yourself in a prehistoric land where dinosaurs roam freely, oh and ride on trains! All the great dinosaurs are present from the triceratops to a groovy-looking ankylosaurus.

There are plenty of adventures to be had for the passengers on board this train, not to mention the excitement of finding out which lucky dinosaur is holding the special ticket and will be allowed to drive the train. My life will be complete once I’ve experienced the Great Volcano Run.20150707_223118

Train fans, dinosaur fans, they’ll all be in heaven listening to this bright, rhyming adventurous tale.

Check out All aboard the dinosaur express at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy All Aboard the Dinosaur Express from Fishpond.


I’m a hungry dinosaur by Janeen Brian; illustrated by Ann James (2015)

[Published by Puffin Australia]

im-a-hungry-dinosaurIf you loved I’m a dirty dinosaur then I’ve got great news for you, the star of the show is back and this time he’s hungry (and of course still a little dirty).

Our wee dinosaur embarks on a baking-spree, complete with shaking, stirring, mixing and beating. Featuring the same funky rhyming beat and grubby but adorable star, this will be a winner for dinosaur and cake fans everywhere.

After spending some time looking at the cover’s mouth-watering chocolate cake, I’m feeling like a hungry dinosaur myself. In good news, today is my husband John’s birthday,IMG_1888 “Happy Birthday John!” Yup, pretty sure it’s cake time…

Check out I’m a hungry dinosaur at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy I’m a Hungry Dinosaur from Fishpond.


Saturday night at the dinosaur stomp by Carol Diggory Shields; illustrated by Scott Nash (1997)

[Published by Walker Books]


These dinosaurs are total dudes.

“Word went out ‘cross the prehistoric slime:

“Hey, dinosaurs, it’s rock ‘n’ roll time!

Slick back your scales and get ready to romp

On Saturday night at the Dinosaur Stomp!”

Full of lovely scientific words like Cretaceous and Cenozoic you’ll have heaps of fun reading and simultaneously learning. Although I probably wouldn’t advise basing any actual science lessons on this one, as you may be responsible for some significant misconceptions in future years for your audience:

“The night-time sky began to glow.IMG_1763

Volcanoes put on a firework show.

The ground was rocking – it started to shake.

Those dinosaurs danced up the first earthquake!”

Possibly not the current official explanation for earthquakes. Overflowing with funky dinosaurs and the best kind of partying, you can’t go wrong.

Check out Saturday night at the dinosaur stomp at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Saturday night at the dinosaur stomp from Fishpond.


Roo the roaring dinosaur by David Bedford; illustrated by Mandy Stanley (2015)

[Published by Simon and Schuster]

rooDuring a girls’ weekend to Melbourne a few years ago, my girlfriend had her fingers crossed that while she was away, hubby would manage to wean their daughter off “dodo”. It was quite the challenge as girl and dodo were inseparable.

Blankies, dummies, cuddly toys, they can all be the most important thing in the world to a small person. For the crazily cute Roo, it’s his Moomie. When a giant mammoth named, Wooly crashes his hot air balloon right in front of Roo’s nose, Roo discovers a fun new friend. They have a lovely old time, until Wooly decides he really needs to go home, but, his balloon has a sizeable hole.IMG_1594

It’s tough decision time for Roo, as his Moomie turns out to be the perfect size for balloon-repairing. Because this story is just all round cuteness, it ends with some fluffy love. A great choice for a child who might be about to suffer a little separation anxiety.

Check out Roo the roaring dinosaur at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Roo the roaring dinosaur from Fishpond.


Dinosaurs love underpants by Claire Freedman; illustrated by Ben Cort (2008)

[Published by Simon and Schuster]

dinoI discovered this wee gem a few years ago when a friend’s son was obsessed with dinosaurs. Underpants and dinosaurs are basically the perfect picture book combination.

“Dinosaurs were all wiped out.

A long way back in history.

No one knows quite how or why.

Now this book solves the mystery…”

It may surprise you to discover that what actually happened was, cavemen, embarrassed by their nudity starting wearing IMG_1602underpants and the old green-eyed monster bit the dinosaurs. The underpant competitiveness culminated “In a great pants tug-of-war.” It was this raging battle that destroyed the dinosaurs!

The rhyme in this hilarious book is brilliant, and the underpants are glorious.

Check out Dinosaurs love underpants at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Dinosaurs love underpants from Fishpond.


If I had a triceratops by George O’Connor (2015)

[Published by Candlewick Press]

finSpeed review number 7 (normal chatty reviews to resume tomorrow)

If you can’t get enough of the hilarious, If I had a raptor then I’ve got great news for you, George O’Connor and his dino pets are back. His latest dinosaur star is a triceratops and rather than having catlike qualities, this time, resembles man’s best friend.

With all the same hilarity and great illustrations as its predecessor, dinosaur fans will love it.

Check out If I had a triceratops at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy If I had a triceratops from Fishpond.