How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Birthday?, by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague (2011, The Blue Sky Press)
One never would have thought that dinosaurs were a polite bunch, but Jane Yolen and Mark Teague are here to prove one wrong! 😉
Each page in the first half of this board book asks a rhetorical question to introduce what would be considered a bad birthday choice: hogging the cake, touching the food, screaming, grabbing the gifts, and messing around and ruining others’ fun at the party. But, no…a dinosaur wouldn’t do those things! Each page following the examples of poor behaviors describes what a well-behaved birthday dinosaur does, including polite greetings, appreciation for gifts, serving the guests, giving out hand-made favors, and thanking her human parents for making the birthday great.
The illustrations in this series are hilarious, and this book is no exception. The enormous, anthropomorphic dinosaurs interact with the human characters in the book in a completely human setting, and the contrast between the mundane setting and the star characters is sure to get any kid giggling! (Especially funny are the tiny birthday hats perched upon the heads of carnivorous beasts that are behaving like naughty toddlers, but the “You shouldn’t have!” expression on the face of the spike-bottomed kentrosaurus receiving a baby doll for a gift is pretty hysterical, too!) Each dinosaur is also discreetly labeled with its species for the budding paleontologists in our midst.
BoyChild’s Reactions: I don’t think it’s any surprise that BoyChild loves this book. I have no idea what he was actually saying–he’s not the most verbal child on the planet–but he was extremely excited and babbling and pointing at all the pictures. (I’m pretty sure he said “bun” and pointed at the bunny that the last dinosaur is carrying…yay?) Otherwise, I think Dinosaur Roar might be his first language anyway, so he really enjoys reading this book! So, because today is BoyChild’s second birthday, I just wanted to quote the last line of the book and say, “Happy birthday to you, little dinosaur!” We love you!