Jump into Dino World!: Storybook (Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs)

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Jump into Dino World!: Storybook (Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs)

Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A television tie-in to the Harry stories by Ian Whybrow will provide short-term entertainment and amusement but is not a substitute for the original book on which it was based.
Buy? No Borrow? Yes
Pages: 24 Date: July 2007
Publisher: Puffin Books
ISBN: 978-0141501376

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Mum wants Harry to hurry up as they're going to collect Nan and she doesn't want to be late. But Harry is looking for the cap Nan gave him and he can't find it anywhere. Taury the dinosaur knows what it looks like and Patsy, the dinosaur with the long purple neck, peers into all the hard-to-see places but it's Sid who breaks the news that the cap is with Trike in Dino World, which is reached by jumping into a blue bucket. Patsy and Taury jump into the bucket, followed by Harry...

Down the slide he goes into the most amazing place he has ever seen, but if you look carefully you will see that some aspects of Dino World are very similar to Harry's bedroom. Harry and his dinosaur friends explore Pepper Rock, the Primordial Swamp, Rock Lake and Pillow Hill in search of Trike, but it's not until Pterence thinks about the wishing well that Trike and the cap are found and Harry dashes off to meet Nan. Excitedly he tells her about Dino World, but it seems that Nan might know more about it than he thinks.

A lot of children will be familiar with 5 year old Harry and his six dinosaur friends from the 52-episode television series and this slim volume will make a useful link with the world of books. The story is told in simple terms but without being patronising and the font (un-joined-up handwriting) is clear for a young reader, neatly tapping in to the current rage for all things dinosaur. The vocabulary is appropriate but challenging in places and there's scope for interesting discussion about the nicknames of the dinosaurs which are derived from their taxonomical names. For the more thoughtful child the similarities between Dino World and Harry's bedroom could spark an interesting conversation about the nature of imagination.

As a bedtime story the book reads well, with text which flows and is neatly linked to the colourful illustrations. There's a little bit of magic as Dino World is found in a relatively small blue bucket and even a little bit of a twist in the tail when it seems that Nan might not be too old to have been enjoying Dino World herself. It's a warm, good-hearted story for the two-to-five age group, but unless the child is particularly into either the Harry stories or Dinosaurs I doubt that it will stay on the 'favourites' shelf.

My main reservation about this book is that it is not the book written by Ian Whybrow and illustrated by Adrian Reynolds, but is 'based on' the original book, which I think would be a far better buy. There's a lot more to the story - including the finding of the dinosaurs - and we meet Harry's sister too. There's even some sibling squabbling and the book has a more natural feel to it.

My thanks to the publishers for sending this book to The Bookbag.

If you have a child who is interested in dinosaurs we can recommend Julia Donaldson's beautifully written and illustrated Tyrannosaurus Drip or How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? by Jane Yolen.

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Buy Jump into Dino World!: Storybook (Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs) at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Jump into Dino World!: Storybook (Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs) at Amazon.com.

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