Dinos Don’t Give Up!
Smriti Halls and Richard Merritt
The little dino in this rhyming tale is a darling diplodocus named Dinah. Famed throughout dino-world for her seemingly endless abilities, young Dinah is a veritable superstar.
She’s also .kind, considerate, supportive and always willing to help others.
One day into Dino Town comes some exciting news: a surfing contest is to be held; every single little dinosaur is eager to try its luck at staying dry and thus winning the surfing crown. Now surfing is something Dinah hasn’t done before; nonetheless she’s confident as ever when she takes her place at the starting line, even anticipating treating her pals in a celebratory party after receiving the prize.
However, this is one activity at which Dinah is not destined to become top-dino; indeed no matter how hard she tries she just can’t stay atop her surfboard.
Disaster strikes as she finds herself almost completely submerged in the sea: a veritable dino flop.
Happily though her friends are at the ready to give a tearful Dinah what she most needs when a dino-catastrophe strikes and she in return is ready to follow that ‘if at first you don’t succeed’ adage and try, try again. Vitally, in so doing, little Dinah discovers that having fun isn’t contingent on winning. An important lesson for Dinah but equally, an important one for young humans
Smriti’s narrative bounces along beautifully, tripping easily off the tongue when read aloud and Richard Merritt’s vibrant illustrations, be they small, or occupying an entire double-spread are detailed dino-delights. This is a book that’s likely to make a big splash with little dinosaur lovers.
The Elephant Detectives
This funny story of, among other things, wanting to find a friend, begins happily with Alan and his elephant anticipating having fun with the balloon they’ve just bought from the seller in the park. It’s not to be however for a sudden gust of wind whips it away to the top of the Very Tall Tree: Alan announces that he’s an ace tree climber but fails to rescue the balloon. With his mind on alternative ways of enjoying themselves, Alan reaches the ground only to find – or rather not find his elephant.
Along comes Edie who declares herself an Elephant Detective and tells Alan to follow her. Together they set off on an elephant search, first stop the library. There, they borrow a book containing elephant facts, which Edie uses to provide clues to the elephant’s whereabouts. Next stop is one of the places that’s a possibility thanks to the facts in said book.
The hilarious element of this story is that all the time Alan’s elephant is following the two searchers, doing pretty much what they do but from a slight distance. Youngsters will love this.
Ged’s tongue in cheek story is made all the more amusing by his illustrations that are full of fun and diverting happenings and from his portrayal of the elephant it’s easy to see why Alan is so fond of his hāthī, pal. On the serious side though, is Edie’s admission to Alan that she only pretended to be an elephant detective in order to become his friend, a confession he willingly accepts.