Dinosaur Woods
By George McClements
Beach Lane Books (Simon & Schuster)
ISBN: 9781416986263
Grades K-2
In Stores


You know what kids like? Thinking big. The bigger the idea, the better. Bob Shea & Lane Smith’s 2008 (and appropriately titled) Big Plans is a great example of this concept successfully making its way into children’s lit. Add Dinosaur Woods into this category as well. A group of animals try to save their little patch of forest the only way they know how – by coming up with a wild, grand, prehistoric idea.

As is so often the setup, developers are moving in. In four days the Plas-Tic Tree Company will be clearing forest to build a new factory. Seven residents of said forest are, understandably, troubled. Rojo the fox comes up with a plan to create a huge, fearsome, lifelike Tyrannosaurus Rex puppet to scare everyone off. The friends work hard on the project and it pays off – the developers are thoroughly spooked. But when the pseudo-dino breaks and the jig is up, will our heroes need to find a new home?

The illustrations, rendered in mixed media collage, are nothing short of astounding. McClements works wonders here with paper and paint, crafting expressive characters full of life.

Solid story, amazing visuals, and a “think big” theme that kids will enjoy. A nice package.

Review copy provided by the publisher.

This book is nominated for a 2009 Cybils award.

Also reviewed by Raising Readers and Writers, Kids Book Blog.

Find this book at your local library with WorldCat.