Today Caramel visits Memory Lane, and shares some thoughts on five of his favorite books from when he was a much littler bunny: How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? (2000), How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon? (2003), How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? (2005), How Do Dinosaurs Go To School? (2007), and How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You? (2009), all written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Mark Teague. As usual, Sprinkles is asking questions and taking notes.
Sprinkles: So Caramel, it has been a long time since I saw you with these books!
Caramel: Yes. I used to read and reread these books so many times, but I don’t do that anymore. But I saw them the other day and wanted to look over them again. I still love them!
S: I know! We used to read them together. They all rhyme and they all have so many amazing pictures all throughout…
C: Yes, I love the pictures of the dinosaurs! They are so good! And they also say what each dinosaur is, and so for a bunny like me who loves dinosaurs, these books are just perfect!
S: I know you reviewed The Complete Guide to Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Reptiles by Chris McNab a while ago. So you think the dinosaur pictures in these books are cool?
C: Yes, they are all different dinosaurs, and the picture of each is different, with all sorts of details.
S: So tell me a bit about How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? This is the first book of the series I think, and it was the first one we read.
C: This is about how young dinosaurs often delay going to sleep. Apparently a dinosaur who doesn’t want to go to sleep might throw his teddy bear all around, and slam his tail around, and shout “I want to hear one more book!” They also might roar or do other mischief, like turning back the lights on.
S: Those sound quite familiar to me as a parent trying to put her little ones to sleep!
C: Yes, they are very funny.
S: But of course you would never do such mischief before bed?
C: Of course not! Marshmallow and I are such sweethearts, we’d never do such a thing.
S: You are sweethearts alright, but I guess we might disagree about bedtime mischief….
S: Okay, next tell me a bit about How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon?. What’s this one about?
C: It’s about when a little dinosaur is sick and not feeling well. It is about them whining and complaining and so on. But in the end we learn actually that the little dinosaurs don’t ever do those bad things. The story goes:
Does he push back each drink, spit his pills in the sink? Does he make a big stink? Is that what you think? No...
S: So actually the books all start with all possible bad behaviors and then …
C: and then they end with all the good things the little dinosaur could be doing.
S: So in a way, this is teaching young bunnies how to behave even when they are not feeling well. Right?
S: Okay, now let us talk about the next book: How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? What is this one about?
C: This is about how little dinosaurs eat their food. It again starts with all the bad things a dinosaur could be doing. And then we learn that the little dinosaurs don’t do those things. They say “thank you”, “please”, and so on. They “sit still”, and “eat all the food in front of them with smiles and good will”.
S: So again a little bunny is learning how to behave during dinner time. Right?
S: So tell me more about the drawings. Do you find them amusing? Interesting?
C: Yes. The parents on each page are humans and only the children are dinosaurs. It’s funny, and I like thinking of myself as a dinosaur.
S: I guess children would like to be dinosaurs sometimes, it would be really fun to imagine. And parents are a bit too serious and maybe even a bit too old to be dinosaurs.
C: Yes, kind of.
S: Okay, so what will you tell us about How Do Dinosaurs Go To School?
C: This is about all the bad things a little dinosaur could be doing in school, like pushing friends around, teasing them, being noisy when students need to be quiet, and so on. But actually the little dinosaur helps his classmates, raises his hand in class to talk, has a lot of friends he plays with, and growls at bullies.
S: This kind of reminded me of the pigeon book, The Pigeon HAS to Go to School! by Mo Willems.
C: Well, they are similar maybe, but the pigeon there does not want to go to school. He’s afraid. So that book is about making the pigeon feel good about going to school. But this book is about how to behave at school when you are already there.
S: I see. That makes sense.
S: So which is your favorite dinosaur in this book?
C: The Silvisaurus, who is sitting in class, fidgeting, with his tail in the air…
S: Do you ever do that in class too?
C: No, I don’t! I try to listen to my teacher and do what she says.
S: Good for you Caramel!
S: Finally tell me a bit about How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You?
C: This one is about dinosaurs saying “I love you” without words.
S: So they show their parents how much they love them with their actions?
S: What kinds of actions?
C: The dinosaurs in this book make messes and behave badly sometimes, but then they make up for it, and they help out, and they smile and hug and kiss their parents, and so the parents know their little dinosaurs love them.
S: I think this one is written a bit differently than the other book. You hear the story from the voice of the parents who notice the little dinosaur’s love in his actions. Then the parents tell him in return how much they love him, too.
C: Yes, that is true.
S: I especially loved reading this book to you out loud and giving you big hugs.
C: I really like big hugs!
S: So did you know that there are a few other books in this same series that we did not read?
C: Yep. Apparently there is one about counting, one about colors, one about cleaning one’s room, and one about playing with friends.
S: But we read and reread our five books so many times!
C: Yes. I really liked them when I was little.
S: Caramel, you are still little in the grand scheme of things.
C: Well, you too are tiny in the grand scheme of things, Sprinkles.
S: Touche! You are right. Cosmologically I am tiny, too. And I still love reading together with you.
C: Maybe we can read some of these together tonight?
S: I’d like that. But for now let us wrap up this review. What do you want to say to your readers?
C: They should all read these books! And they should all stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!