Do you or the kids watch Dinotrux? Its transition from solely being a book to also include television was seamless. Of course a show about trucks as dinosaurs going about their life is entertaining you say now. It might not have thought like that initially though. This is much like the classic song from Laurie Berkner, We Are The Dinosaurs. Unless you’ve had a child go through pre-K in the past 20 years that song doesn’t mean anything to you. However, if you’ve seen your kids stomp, march and roar then it’s probably one of your favorite memories of their school play. Whaddaya think of that?
We Are The Dinosaurs is now a book by Laurie Berkner with illustrations by Ben Clanton and it has a lot going for it. For starters it’s got a built in audience of young readers who know the words and love dinosaurs.
The only difference between the song and the book, aside from the illustrations, is the fact that the dinosaurs have names. There’s Dax, Sasha, Floyd and one other un-named dinosaur who is a pteradon. Our friends start out on a seemingly nice morning for a walk where they make the Earth flat. Then they’ll stop and at their food, marching, marching until they find a cave to take a rest, whaddaya think of that?
Our dinosaur friends get woken up from their nap where they run down the volcano into the arms of their family. We Are The Dinosaurs is a picture book that the 6 and under set will love. One concern we had is that reading the book would encourage children to stand up and do the song. We read the book many times to a class of pre-K students and that didn’t happen once.
They all sat on their bottoms, asked to see the pictures, gestured with their arms and pumped their legs (as they sat criss cross apple sauce thank you very much). This is the same class that performed the song for the fall school presentation, so I know that they know and love the song. Yet, they were perfectly content to sit back, re-live the story, listen to someone read a great book with big, dinosaur pictures as they used their imagination.
Surprisingly, the same thing worked when we used We Are The Dinosaurs as a good-night book at home. It might have made our 5 year old think and use his imagination, but that energy was not converted to him staying awake. Instead, he smiled, in that knowing way that only a pre-K kid can, mouthed some of the words as we read it to him and continued grinning as he put his head on the pillow.
This is one of those books that needs to be in the pre-K library at home. Every page is jammed with color, silly dinosaurs and fun that will engage kids who like the song. It’s worth nothing that our 7 year old didn’t like it, but the song is out of his demographic. The 5 year old though can’t get enough of it and neither will your young child.