HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: I Am Not a Dinosaur
Author: Mary Packard
Illustrator: Nate Evans
Publisher: Scholastic, republished in 1999
ISBN-13: 978-0606114929 (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0606114920 (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-0590689977 (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0590689975 (Paperback)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 3 and up
Rating: 4 stars (GOOD)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Packard, Mary. I Am Not a Dinosaur (published in 1997 by Cartwheel Books). We often think of the term “dinosaur” as a generic word that includes all prehistoric reptiles. However, scientists make distinctions between true dinosaurs which were primarily land animals, flying reptiles called pterosaurs such as pterodactyls and pteranodons, and marine reptiles like the mosasaurs, ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs, and pliosaurs. This “First Hello Reader!” introduces the pterosaurs or winged reptiles by means of a story about a baby pterosaur who learns to fly, gains self-esteem, and discovers the many dinosaurs of his Jurassic landscape. There is also a moral about liking yourself for yourself.
Author Mary Packard’s text is such a simple story with large print and illustrator Nate Evans’s pictures are so very charming that children will want the book read many times and will remember how it goes. It is a great book for toddlers who are fascinated with dinosaurs because it tells about the characteristics of other ancient animals with crests, horns, and tails, and not just pterosaurs. Also it captures the interest of beginning readers who are active youngsters. There are a few unusual, hard words, but many are “sight” words right out of Kindergarten lessons, and others can be deciphered from the illustrations. Of course, Bible-believing parents will want to be aware of the evolutionary bias of many such books.