HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Dinosaur Babies
Author: Lucille Recht Penner
Illustrator: Peter Barrett
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers, 1991
ISBN-13: 978-0780710719 (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0780710711 (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0679812075 (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 978-0679812074 (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 4 – 6 years
Rating: **** 4 stars (GOOD)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Penner, Lucille Recht. Dinosaur Babies (published in 1991 by Random House Books for Young Readers). When our boys were little, they enjoyed reading about dinosaurs, so we had this book which was originally the first nonfiction Step-into-Reading Step 1 book. However, now it is sold as a Step 2 book. My theory is that in the great “dumbing-down of American education,” it was decided that many of the Step 1 books were just too hard for beginning readers, taught as they were with the “look say” or “whole language” method rather than a strong phonics background, so they were bumped up to Step 2 for slightly more advanced readers. Anyway, this book, illustrated in full color, introduces the cutest and biggest babies of all time and describes the hatching, the habits, and the hazards of young dinosaurs.
The text is in bold type, the vocabulary is simple, and the information is considered generally accurate. Some of the material is in a question-and-answer format, and the subject matter should hold interest well. The watercolor illustrations are labeled and include pronunciation guides. School Library Journal said, “An appealing title that should be popular with dinosaur enthusiasts.” Of course, as with all secular books about dinosaurs, creationist parents will need to be on the lookout for references to “millions of years ago.” However, it is a useful introduction to dinosaurs for beginning readers and is great for kids of all ages who love dinosaur facts. Lucille Recht Penner has written several other great books for young readers, including Sitting Bull and The Pilgrims at Plymouth.