Friday, December 21, 2012

12 Days of Christmas Picture Books - How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas? by Jane Yolen

**Due to technical difficulties - this didn't publish last night. Which is OK, it just means you'll get 2 posts from us in 24 hours!**

It's Day 8 of our 12 Days of Christmas Picture Books series. Wow, where does the time go? Still so many awesome Christmas picture books we'd love to share. . . guess we'll get a jump on the project for next year! And remember, we'd love to hear what your favorite holiday reads are, whether they are for Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa. You can leave a comment here, track me down on Facebook or Twitter, or shoot me an email with your suggestions!

Today's pick is one of Sprout's new favorites: Jane Yolen's How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas?. Yolen has a whole series of these How Do Dinosaurs books, and we've of course brought several home from the library because Sprout is nuts for them. Each one is not only fun and spirited, but teaches us a few more dinosaur names. Sprout has fun poring over the end papers and noting which dinosaurs appear where in the pictures, done by illustrator Mark Teague (look for the name of each dinosaur cleverly woven into the spread on which its picture appears). And as with each of the books, there's a little bit of a lesson embedded, though it's done with such wit and charm that it'll sneak right up on the kiddos.

It's really hard to separate the pictures and the text in these titles, and Merry Christmas is no exception. Much of the humor comes from the antics of the dinosaurs, and the way their outsized shenangans are depicted in the setting of a modern-day home. In this title, there's a lot of tearing up presents, shaking Christmas trees, and the like, all of which are so ridiculously over-the-top that they make Sprout laugh like crazy. And I love that Teague includes a multicultural cast of characters in all of these titles - proof again that it doesn't have to be a book about racial issues or set in a foreign land to show a little diversity! Thank you Jane Yolen and Mark Teague for that kind of sensitivity and thought.

On Christmas morning it may feel like a gigantoraptor has been frolicking through your living room, but take heart - if even a dinosaur can learn to use manners and express gratitude, so can your little sprout!

How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas? by Jane Yolen, published by Blue Sky Press
All ages
Source: Library
Sample: "On Christmas Eve, does a dinosaur sleep? Does he go up to bed without making a peep? / Or does he sneak out, just to check what's to see? / Does he rip open presents set under the tree?"

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