Recommended for ages 3-8
Siblings Joe and Sally spy a strange set of footprints by their cat’s bowl one morning, setting them off on an investigation. Clearly, it’s a dinosaur. With each spread, they deduce more about the dinosaur: it’s a heavy dinosaur, because the tracks are so deep; it’s a hungry dinosaur, because it’s eaten the cat’s food; footprints in the fish pond clue them in that it’s a dinosaur who likes to swim. Should you follow a dinosaur, though? Especially when it’s a hungry dinosaur? You’ll just have to read to find out!
Never Follow a Dinosaur is a cute book that teaches kids about using clues to figure out more and more about the dinosaur. The spreads are hilarious, as the dinosaur suffers indignity on top of indignity (bumped head, stubbed toe… the humanity!). The layouts give a lot of space to the kids’ imagination as they conjure up visions of their visitor, and the layout the kids come up with to trap the dino are up there with the best Rube Goldberg devices from the old Warner Brothers cartoons (totally dating myself there).
This is a fun storytime read that offers a lot of interactivity and the chance to give the kids’ imaginations a workout. Ask kids to come up with their own dinosaurs, based on the clues in the book, or just have pictures of dinosaurs to color and customize, for younger readers. Pair this with Ed Young’s Seven Blind Mice for a storytime on deduction and investigation, and then turn it on the kids: have them close their eyes and touch a piece of felt, a chair, a book, a plush toy, and use their five senses to investigate and deduce.