Caramel reviews The Complete Guide to Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Reptiles by Chris McNab

Caramel loves to read books about real things. In his first review of a nonfiction book, he told us about Knights and Castles (Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #2) by Will Osborne and Mary Pope Osborne. Here he shares his enthusiasm about another favorite: The Complete Guide to Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Reptiles by Chris McNab. Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions.

Caramel reviews The Complete Guide to Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Reptiles by Chris McNab.
Caramel reviews The Complete Guide to Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Reptiles by Chris McNab.

Sprinkles: Caramel, you chose a big book for your review this time, right? This is a big format book, quite heavy, too, with 160 pages!

Caramel: Yes! This is a really big book. I have to put it on the ground to read it.

S: It has lots of colorful pictures, right?

C: Yes, including a pachycephalosaurus! Did you know that a pachycephalosaurus is a bonehead?

S: What’s a bonehead?

C: These are dinosaurs that use their heads to fight. They charge each other with their heads and then they bump, crash into each other. Pachycephalosaur means “thick-headed lizard” apparently.

S: That’s weird! What else is in the book?

C: On each page there are lots of dinosaurs and other reptiles. There are crocodiles and flying reptiles. Here is one of my favorites: terrestrisuchus. But I don’t really know how to pronounce it! Anyways the book tells us:

Terrestrisuchus was smaller than Gracilisuchus (about 10 inches tall). Its body was short but its tail was twice the length of its body and head put together. It had long legs and must have sprinted over the dry landscape, snapping up insects and small lizards in its long jaws. It probably ran mostly on four legs, but could have run even faster on just its back legs, using its tail for balance.

S: So dinosaurs and prehistoric reptiles came in all sorts of sizes, right? Which of the bigger dinosaurs do you like most?

C: Other than pachycephalosaurus? Velociraptors! They ran fast! And they had feathers! But they couldn’t fly, so scientists think that they used their feathers to keep warm.

S: So there were flying dinosaurs too?

C: Pteranodon flew of course! But there were also other flying reptiles. Some lizards would glide!

Caramel enjoys reading about dinosaurs in The Complete Guide to Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Reptiles.
Caramel enjoys reading about dinosaurs in The Complete Guide to Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Reptiles.

S: Dinosaurs in this book seem to be all over the world, there were different types of dinosaurs in different places, and they also lived in different times, right?

C: Yes. Scientists think the earth is 4.5 billion years old. And the book starts at the beginning, with life in the seas, then moving on to land.

S: So the book is organized historically. There are about twelve pages about early life and then we begin learning about dinosaurs. Every now and then we look at different geographies. What happens in the end?

C: In the end the dinosaurs went extinct. But scientists don’t really know exactly why and how. It is kind of sad.

S: Yes, it is indeed sad Caramel, but if dinosaurs had not gone extinct, there might not be much room on this planet for us rabbits.

C: Good point! We might not have enough food to go all around for all of us. Still I like to learn about dinosaurs. They are very interesting!

S: Indeed!

Caramel loves reading and looking at the many many pictures in The Complete Guide to Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Reptiles.
Caramel loves reading and looking at the many many pictures in The Complete Guide to Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Reptiles.

Caramel reviews The Itchy Book by LeUyen Pham

Last week Caramel reviewed The Cookie Fiasco by Dan Santat, from Mo Willems’ series Elephant and Piggie Like Reading. Below he shares his thoughts on the second book he read from the series: The Itchy Book by LeUyen Pham. Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions.

Caramel reviews The Itchy Book by LeUyen Pham.
Caramel reviews The Itchy Book by LeUyen Pham.

Sprinkles: So what do you want to tell us about this book Caramel?

Caramel: It’s an awesome book! The book is about a group of dinosaurs who all have an itch to scratch, except one. But they can’t scratch their itches.

S: Why not?

C: There’s a sign that says “Dinosaurs do not scratch”.

S: And so they want to follow the rules and don’t scratch themselves, right?

C: Yes, until the end. But I won’t tell you what happens in the end. Can I instead tell you about which dinosaurs are in the book?

S: Yes Caramel. That would be neat.

C: There is a brontosaurus, a pterodactyl, a triceratops, a T-rex, and a pachycephalosaurus.

S: That is a lot of different dinosaur types. How come you know them all?

C: I like dinosaurs. And I know all about the first four. And one of my friends knows a lot about the pachycephalosaurus.

S: So which one is your favorite dinosaur then?

C: The pachycephalosaurus! It’s a plant eater. I also like triceratops and pterodactyls. I also like pteranodons, but there is no pteranodon in The Itchy Book.

S: That’s a good way to get back to the book we are talking about. So what else did you want to say about this book?

C: I loved the book! It is so funny! The twist in the end is cool and the characters themselves are all funny!

S: Ooo, so there’s a twist in the end, hmm?

C: Yup, but I won’t tell! Everybody should read it themselves!

S: I agree. Ok, so this was again an Elephant and Piggie Like Reading! book. Do they appear in the book again, like in The Cookie Fiasco?

C: Yes. They show up at the beginning of the story and also at the end. Like before. And Gerald gets very very itchy in the end.

S: Well, talking about itches and scratching itchy spots might make you itchy, no?

C: Yep, that’s exactly what happens to Gerald. But I didn’t feel itchy. I just felt like laughing.

S: That is good, isn’t it? This book reminded me of Shel Silverstein’s poem: The Unscratchable Itch. Do you know it?

C: Nope.

S: Ok, then we should read it together:

There is a spot that you can’t scratch
Right between your shoulder blades,
Like an egg that just won’t hatch
Here you set and there it stays.
Turn and squirm and try to reach it,
Twist your neck and bend your back,
Hear your elbows creak and crack,
Stretch your fingers, now you bet it’s
Going to reach — no that won’t get it–
Hold your breath and stretch and pray,
Only just an inch away,
Worse than a sunbeam you can’t catch
Is that one spot that
You can’t scratch.

Shel Silverstein, from A Light in the Attic, Harper & Row, 1981.

C: That is a funny poem!

S: It is, isn’t it? And a good place to end your review this time, right?

C: Yes, it’s just about time. Because now I’m itchy! Scratch scratch!

Caramel enjoyed reading The Itchy Book by LeUyen Pham.
Caramel enjoyed reading The Itchy Book by LeUyen Pham.