The Really, Really, Really Big Dinosaur by Richard Byrne

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The Really, Really, Really Big Dinosaur by Richard Byrne

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Kerry King
Reviewed by Kerry King
Summary: When a big, show-off dinosaur learns to share, he discovers two really, really, really good new friends. We love a book with a message and this one is a corker!
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: April 2012
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 978-0192757630

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Finlay is what you might call a little dinosaur; there are certainly plenty bigger than him. One day, a big dinosaur walks past and Finlay offers to share his jelly beans with him.

But the big dinosaur wants all the jelly beans for himself and even though Finlay explains that the jelly beans actually belong to his really big friend and they aren't his to give away, the big dinosaur just puffs up his chest and tells Finlay to let his friend know that he's going to take the jelly beans all for himself anyway.

And so it goes; rather delightfully actually - Finlay is a clever little fellow and lets the big dinosaur dash around all over the place, showing him how big and strong he is, all the while having a rather delicious secret about the actual size of his really big friend.

Now, Finlay is only small; but he's a smart little cookie because not only does he outwit the big dinosaur - who thinks he is strong and clever and bigger and better than any of the other dinosaurs - but Finlay teaches the big dinosaur that it's much better not to be a big, greedy, show-off. The big dinosaur learns that sharing with your friends can be much more fun than having something all to yourself.

We really loved the ideas in this little story; firstly the message about sharing - which is a big deal for lots of pre-schoolers who are just getting used to socialising in small groups, thus preparing them for big school. Secondly, we really liked the message about bullying. It's a very tricky subject to tackle at this tender age and by addressing it in the gentle and fun way such as this, you can tick the parental box under Responsible Socialisation and sleep peacefully!

Moreover, it's brilliantly illustrated with something of the Spike Milligans about some of the dinosaurs' facial expressions and though you might expect dinosaurs to be a tough one to colour, Byrne delivers a bright and eyecatching spectacle within the lizard spectrum!

To summarise, The Really, Really, Really Big Dinosaur by Richard Byrne is a gorgeous story-with-a-message (two for the price of one, at that) and you must not fail to add it to your bookshelves; go and buy it immediately!"

If you like a dinosaur tale (oh it was so tempting to pun just there), may we suggest [[Don't Invite Dinosaurs to Dinner by Neil Griffiths and Peggy Collins]] because dinosaurs really are dreadful dinner guests and it's terribly funny to see what they get up to.

If you are keen to tackle some of the more common in the pre-schooler issues territory and you have a non-sleeper (like my 4 year old), maybe Can't You Sleep, Little Bear? by Martin Waddell and Barbara Firth because it's beautiful and you fall utterly in love with the Little Bear and totally feel for Big Bear and his attempts to get Little Bear to go to sleep.

Finally a big wave of thanks to the kind people at Oxford Press for sending this copy to Bookbag for review.

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