Welcome to another blog post part of the Touring Picture Book Club series where three U.K based picture book bloggers and myself, share our opinions and complete bookish crafts on a great children’s book. If you missed my first Touring Picture Book Club post, you can find it here.
This time our chosen picture book is all about dinosaurs in this colourful read, Dinosaurs Don’t Draw written by Elli Wollard and Steven Lenton.
Author Elli Wollard’s work includes Troll Stroll, The Giant of Jum and Swashbucle Lil. Steven Lenton has illustrated many lovely books including Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam and Princess Daisy and the dragon. The pair aren’t new to working together and their book The Great Gran Plan was published last year.
We absolutely love Dinosaurs Don’t Draw. With its vibrant front cover featuring main character Piccasaur and his friends, both my girls were excited to read all about these dinosaurs.
Picassaur is a large eyed, blue, very cute dinosaur who is an artistic little soul. His creative flair is discovered when he stumbles across some chalk. He discovers that this piece of chalk allows him to be creative and imaginative and before he knows it he has produced a spectacular, large piece of art work on the mountains. He is wowed by his work and is so excited to share his creation with his mum.
Sadly, Picassaur’s mum doesn’t share his enthusiasm for his work and reminds our blue dinosaur friend that “Dinosaurs gnash and dinosaurs bash” and whatever they do “…they do not ever draw.”
Picassaur continues to find different materials that allow him to be expressive. He isn’t picky about what he uses and embraces using different mediums and tools to get creative. Down at the lake he finds “beautiful ooze” and at the woods he uses “sticks, old and charred.” His creations are amazing but his father and cousins, just like his mum, don’t believe that dinosaurs should be drawing.
Picassaur really does love being an artist and despite being told not to draw this does not make him stop. His parents and friends are unimpressed by his new hobby until a terrifying T-Rex appears! The T-Rex is hungry and fearsome until he looks behind him and a see a drawing that Picassaur has completed. The art work fools the T-Rex into thinking that something even larger them him in his presence and he quickly runs off!
The brilliant art work that Picassaur created saved all of the dinosaurs and in turn changes the attitude of his family. It’s so easy for us to say no to things so quickly when sometimes taking a step back and resisting the urge to say no and just observing can be the key.
Steven Lenton’s illustrations really inspired us but alongside that Picassaur constantly being told not to draw really made my daughter and I talk about choices and how it feels when people and parents say no. We decided to act out the story and created our very own small world using a shoe box.
Small World Shoe Box.
Little One decided which shoe box to use and what scene she wanted to have as the backdrop of her small world. We didn’t actually stick the backdrop of our small world in so if she wanted to change it to a different background she would just need to swap the piece of sugar paper.
After observing the book carefully we talked about the different flowers and borders of colours that are used through out the book as well as on the front cover so using the brightest colours of papers and some fun foam stickers we created a border for our box and we were ready to act out the story.
We have had so much fun acting out the story and talking about emotions. This was brilliant play that we completed together. Little One, my eldest daughter, has also been using the shoe box indpendently as small world and her dinosaur figures have been used well to represent the different characters from the story.
It was such a simple and fun activity to do but it has really allowed Little One to explore so many different aspects and themes of the book.
Lots of fun was had creating a shoe box small world and fellow Touring Picture Book bloggers have suggested other activities too.
Acorn Books has ideas to encourage reluctant artists.
Bookbairn makes some stomping dinosaur potato prints.
Along Came Poppy gets messy with dino foot prints.
Do go and pop over to their blogs and see the brilliant activities they have completed also.
Also, I will be hosting a giveaway later today where 3 copies of Dinosaurs Don’t Draw will be given away over on my Twitter page.
Disclaimer: We received this book from the publishers Macmillan Children and all opinions and words are entirely my own. The publishers also provided us with giveaway copies.