Thursday, June 14, 2007

For Red is The Color That My T-Rex Wore

*FYI, the following is a children's book review for Random House.

Quick, what color is an albertosaurus? A velociraptor?

No one really know what color dinosaurs were, because as Professor Potts so aptly puts it, "Uneversaurus"- which is the title of his children's book about the many possibilities of coloration for dinosaurs. If you were a kid who loved the names of crayolas growing up ("cornflower", "raw sienna", "burnt umber") be sure to read the inside front page which includes a color wheel with hues delightfully named "tomato triceratops", or "ruby riojasaurus", or "permian pea soup".

My three year-old grandson was over last evening and he actually stayed still long enough for me to get almost finished reading the book to him before he had to jump up and go on to bigger and better playing chase with Grandpa Kman.

He may be a little young to be truly interested in dinosaurs yet ( Grandson, not Grandpa), so the better gauge will be with the older grandsons, ages 8 and 5.

The book is clever and humorous, so much so that a young reader may not realize she has just learned a lot about our perceptions of what dinosaurs really looked like.

Aidan Potts is the mastermind behind "Professor Potts" and is a first class illustrator and artist. Big kids will get a kick out of the imaginary denim clad dinosaur with top stitching, or the kaleidoscope of pterodactyl skins.

The only page that gave me pause was this one:

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Though Potts attempts to use pop culture humor about getting old to teach a bit of science, early programming of children that aging is necessarily a disgusting "lessening" thing is not going to win big kudos from grandparents who read books aloud to their grandchildren.

Just rip out this offending page, and the rest of the book is cool.


Jeff said...

Miss Pattie, having grown up in the days when all dinosaurs were gray or brown-green, I've rather enjoyed the colorization they've undergone in recent years ..... though I realize, it's still speculation.

SpookyRach said...