Tag Archives: dinosaurs

D-Bot Squad series by Mac Park

What do you get when you combine kids, dinosaurs and robots?  You get D-Bot Squad, an awesome new series for beginner readers from Mac Park, the creator of the Boy vs. Beast series.

Dinosaurs are back.  Dino Corp has found a way to bring dinosaurs back to life.  They keep them in a secret place but some of them have escaped and it’s up to the D-Bot Squad to catch them.  How do you catch real, live dinosaurs though?  With dinosaur robots of course.  Hunter Marks knows everything there is to know about dinosaurs. But will it be enough to build a d-bot that can catch a real dinosaur?

There are currently four books in the series – Dino Hunter, Sky High, Double Trouble and Big Stink.  They are perfect for those kids who are just starting their reading journey as the text is large and easy to read.  The stories are exciting, with cliff-hanger endings that will hook readers in.  The text is broken up with cool illustrations by James Hart, who has also created appealing covers that boys will love.

D-Bot Squad is perfect for young readers who like the Boy vs. Beast, Zac Power, or the Dinosaur Trouble series by Kyle Mewburn and Donovan Bixley.  Young readers will gobble up these first four books and be eagerly awaiting the next in the series.  I know just the readers at my school who will love these books, so I know they will be a hit!


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Tyranno-sort-of-Rex by Christopher Llewelyn

There are a huge number of picture books about dinosaurs out there.  Given the popularity of dinosaurs with young children it’s wonderful to have so many books to choose from.  Some of my recent favourite dinosaur stories have been Dinosaur Police by Sarah McIntyre and The Dinosaurs are Having a Party by Gareth P. Jones and Garry Parsons.  Tyranno-sort-of-Rex by Christopher Llewelyn and illustrated by Scott Tulloch is a brand new picture book about dinosaurs, full of dinosaurs that you haven’t met before.

Tyranno-sort-of-Rex follows a shipment of dinosaur bones from the desert where they’re dug up, across the oceans, arriving at a museum for a special exhibition.  The bones get packed neatly into boxes, with ‘the name of each dinosaur stamped on its case.’ However, when the bones arrive at the museum the boxes are shattered and the bones are all out of order.  The bones are dropped off in a heap at the museum and it’s up to the curator to put the ‘fossilised jigsaw’ together. The results of the curators efforts are hilarious!  He creates dinosaurs with huge heads and short legs, dinosaurs with two heads, and dinosaurs with incredibly long necks.  You wonder if he will ever manage to put them together the right way.

Tyranno-sort-of-Rex is a rollicking tale about a Jurassic problem that is solved with a bit of creativity.  Kids will laugh out loud as the curator creates some interesting new dinosaurs.  Christopher Llewelyn’s text is a joy to read aloud and really rolls off your tongue.  I love the refrain that features throughout the book, ‘WHIZZ went the drill, and his hammer went WHACK! Checking his work the curator stepped back…’ I can’t just see children joining in and making the sounds.  This refrain helps to give a sense of suspense, as you turn the page to find out what the curator has created next.  Scott Tulloch’s illustrations are the perfect fit for the story.  I especially love his illustrations of what the strange new dinosaurs might have looked like.

Grab a copy of Tyranno-sort-of-Rex and share it with the dinosaur fan in your life.

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Win the Dinosaur Rescue Megasaurus Mash-up 1

The Dinosaur Rescue series by Kyle Mewburn and Donovan Bixley is one of my favourite New Zealand series for kids.  Each of the books are chock full of prehistoric adventure and fun facts, as well as plenty of dinosaur farts, poo and vomit.  All of this makes for a hilarious read.

Scholastic New Zealand have just released the Megasaurus Mash-up of the first 4 books in the series, which includes T-wreck-asaurus, Stego-snottysaurus, Velocitchy-raptor and Diplo-dizzydocus.  The eighth book in the series, Salto-scaredypus was also released last month and there is an exciting announcement about the series to come later in the year.

Thanks to Scholastic New Zealand I have a copy of the Megasaurus Mash-up 1 to give away.  All you have to do to get in the draw is enter your name and email address in the form below.  Competition closes Wednesday 17 April (NZ only).

Thanks to everyone who entered.  The winner is Angela.

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Picture Book Nook: Two DINO-tastic new picture books

Scholastic have just released two great new dinosaur picture books for the young dinosaur fan in your life, Dino Bites! by Algy Craig Hall and Dinosaurs in the Supermarket by Timothy Knapman and Sarah Warburton.

Dino BitesDino Bites! by Algy Craig Hall is like a dinosaur version of There Was an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly.  It starts with ‘This is the dinosaur looking for lunch.  This is the lunch looking for a snack…’ and continues on with smaller dinosaurs each time, all looking for something to eat.  However, their food is still buzzing and wriggling inside their tummies and with one big BURP everything is back in order.  The story is simple enough for even the smallest dinosaur fan to enjoy and the illustrations are appealing because they’re bright and bold.  The front cover is sure to jump out at children, with the big T-Rex with its mouth open wide.

Dinosaurs in the Supermarket by Timothy Knapman and Sarah Warburton will appeal to dinosaur fans young and old.  I’m sure it’s almost every kid’s fantasy to meet an actual dinosaur, but what would happen if you went shopping with your mum and dinosaurs were everywhere? The boy in the story sees a ‘T-Rex gobbling sausages…Stegosaurus spilling beans…and Apatosaurs chucking frozen peas,’ but when he tries to show his mum, the dinosaurs hide.  It’s not long before the dinosaurs have created a huge mess, but the boy gets the dinosaurs to play a game of Supermarket Clean-up.  Dinosaur fans will recognise their favourite types of dinosaurs in the story and will have fun trying to find the dinosaurs in their hiding places.  The rhyming text is fun to read and the illustrations will have kids in stitches.  Sarah Warburton has obviously had a lot of fun creating havoc with her dinosaurs on the page and making a huge mess of the supermarket.

It’s always exciting to discover new dinosaur books because they’re always so popular with young readers.  I highly recommend both of these picture books and I know they will have children laughing (and roaring) along with the story.


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Dinosaur Rescue: Scuto-stickysaurus

Like many boys around the country I look forward to a new Dinosaur Rescue book from the wonderful Kyle Mewburn and Donovan Bixley.  Each book gives me my dose of prehistoric facts, disgusting dinosaur behaviour and wild adventures with Arg the brainy cave boy.  Arg’s latest adventure is Scuto-stickysaurus.

In Scuto-stickysaurus, disgusted by his family’s eating habits, Arg leaves his cave to search for the cause of the terrible noise that is filling the air.  He discovers a Scutosaurus, a very slow, heavily armoured dinosaur, and he sets off to save it from his tribe’s hunting party.  It’s not long before he finds himself stuck to the Scutosaurus with no way to pry himself loose.  It’s up to his good friend Skeet to rescue him and the Scutosaurus before it’s too late.

Scuto-stickysaurus has the perfect mix of fact, fiction and stinky dinosaurs that I love about this very cool series.  In this book you can:

  • Learn how to look like a Neanderthal,
  • Find out about a prehistoric trip to the dentist,
  • Get some jungle survival tips (Bear Grylls style)
  • Learn about dangerous jungle plants
  • Discover the perfect way to escape a Deadly Mouth Plant.

There’s also plenty of dinosaur poo and farts to go around, and when it comes to these, Arg is always in the wrong place at the wrong time.  It’s the combination of the story and the illustrations that makes this series so hilarious.  Scuto-stickysaurus is the 7th book in the series and it’s just as good as the 1st book, T-wreck-asaurus.  I hope that Kyle and Donovan have got plenty more ideas up their sleeves for Arg’s future adventures.

Thanks to Scholastic New Zealand I have 2 copies of Scuto-stickysaurus to give away.  You can enter here.


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Win a Dinosaur Rescue Prize Pack

Scuto-stickysaurus is the latest book in Kyle Mewburn and Donovan Bixley’s disgusting and hilarious Dinosaur Rescue series.  Each book gives me my dose of prehistoric facts, disgusting dinosaur behaviour and wild adventures with Arg the brainy cave boy.  You can read my review here.

Did you know there is an awesome new Dinosaur Rescue website?  Head to www.dinosaur-rescue.com to have a look at all the interesting information and cool activities.

Thanks to Scholastic New Zealand I have a Dinosaur Rescue prize pack to give away, including a copy of Scuto-stickysaurus and 2 other Dinosaur Rescue books .  To get in the draw all you have to do is enter your name and email address in the form below, and tell me 2 things that you can find at www.dinosaur-rescue.com.  Competition closes Wednesday 28 November (NZ only).

Thanks to everyone who entered.  The winner is Annette.

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T-Rex Trying…by Hugh Murphy

If you’re looking for a great stocking stuffer this Christmas that will appeal to both children and adults, look no further than Hugh Murphy’s fantastic wee book, T-Rex Trying: The Unfortunate Trials of the Tyrant Lizard King.  The idea started as an inside joke with his family and friends, then became a hugely popular Tumblr blog, and he’s now collected each of his sketches in a book.

He might be top predator in the Jurassic kingdom, but in modern life, T-Rex’s comically short arms doom him to hilarious failure.

T-Rex has teeth the size of bananas and eats Triceratops for breakfast, but when it’s time to brush his teeth…

T-Rex is 12 metres long and 4 metres tall, but somehow he just can’t change that lightbulb…

And you can just forget about the vending machine.

Hugh has taken activities that humans can do easily and imagined what would happen if a T-Rex, with his huge body and short little arms, tried to do the same thing.  Ordinary, everyday things like trying to adjust an office chair, putting on a cardigan, climbing a tree, or even singing ‘Heads, shoulders, knees and toes’ are hilarious when a T-Rex tries to do the same thing.  My favourites are T-Rex trying to pick flowers, pull the ripcord on his parachute, trying to recline his La-z-Boy, and trying to play Peek-a-Boo.  Check out a couple of the sketches and a video below:

T-Rex Trying is perfect for young and old and will have everyone laughing out loud.  Whether you’re after a stocking stuffer or a Secret Santa gift that everyone will love, grab a copy of T-Rex Trying…by Hugh Murphy

T-Rex Trying: The Unfortunate Trials of the Tyrant Lizard King is published by Michael Joseph, Penguin on 8th November (21st November in NZ).

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Picture Book Nook: Stomp! by Ruth Paul

Join the dinosaurs and follow the leader as they stomp, jump and hop their way through the jungle, the swamp and the river.  Children will have fun doing the actions and making the sounds as they pretend to be dinosaurs.  Those dinosaur-mad children will be able to name the different dinosaurs and can pretend they’re a T-Rex or a Triceratops.

Stomp! reminded me of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt because of the wonderful noises and actions that children can copy as you read.  I love the way that Ruth Paul has organised the dinosaurs from tallest to shortest across a double page spread.  This layout makes it easy for children to see all of the dinosaurs and look out for their favourites.  Everything is very ordered when the T-Rex is leading, but things start to fall apart when the baby dinosaurs leads on the way back home.  Ruth Paul shows us through the  illustrations that it’s good to be small, as the baby dinosaur is small enough to creep under the creepers and squeeze through the trunks.  The illustrations are bright and clear and full of plenty of humour, especially towards the end.

Stomp! is a book that can be shared with one child or many.  Everyone can make lots of noise and stomp around like dinosaurs.

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