The Dinosaur Awards by Barbara Taylor & Stephen Collins


Dinosaurs should be awarded for being themselves to begin with, because they were just amazing. Now, giving an award to each one of them for their special characteristics is simply top!

I love the way this book was written in almost a story like mode but still keeping it within the non-fiction genre. It is an engaging way to help kids learn fast and remember facts. Filled with puns and plays on words, this book is also great for reluctant readers as it stimulates wider understanding of the power of words. Some dinosaurs have really complicated names, having a ‘how to say its name’ bit on every page is truly helpful, even for grown-ups.

The illustrations, wow!

A terrific combination of exciting action scenes, fun and silly caricatures, and hilarious comic-strips! One of my favourite strips is the one of the Achaeopterix taking its first flight and shouting to the other dinosaurs ‘eat my dust’!

Another great feature in this book is that it does not only circle the usual ten dinos that everyone knows, but we get to talk about 50 of them! Including subspecies of the ones we know, like the Triceratops’ cousin Packyrhinosaurus who was built with a thick bump on its nose instead of a horn. We can also find all the usual information that we look for when studying dinosaurs, such as their height, weight, and speed, as well as other curious facts, such as feeding habits. Besides, we get to learn what is true and what is not true about dinosaur movies. One important detail that I really appreciate is how more frequently the dinosaurs are being illustrated featuring feathers in picturebooks.

The page at the beginning that shows the hall of awards with every dino featured in the book, makes you feel like you are about to enter a university hall, lined with all the popular stars and their achievements. I had a hard time picking my favourite, but I decided that the Therizinosaurus has the most interesting award: The Scissorhands.

Take a peek behind the scenes, and enjoy our interview with the illustrator Stephen Collins.

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