Eliza Jane wishes for a prehistoric pet for her 4th birthday and as she is described as a ‘wilful child’ (and drawn as one too) her parents decide it would be better to give her wants she wants for her birthday despite them looking a little alarmed; ‘Her parents weren’t keen, it has to be said, They wished she had asked for a rabbit instead.’
Handily Eliza Jane’s mum knows just where to go so the family visit the only dinosaur department store they know. When they get there they meet a rather sinister looking dinosaur store owner who lets them look around. The ending is rather sweet and heartening as Eliza Jane does something kind for all the dinosaurs she meets.
The book is a lovely one to read together or in a class and then would be fabulous to start a discussion about your own dinosaur department store. It’s rather refreshing to have a girl who likes dinosaurs and also to think about a store with them all packed in there. The rhyme is great to read aloud and the language is snappy with many recognisable words for children themselves to decode. Onomatopoeia and alliteration in bold and capitals help with the reading out loud too.
Richard Merrit’s illustrations are gloriously colourful and bold. There is plenty to spot especially when meeting the dinosaurs themselves and their quirky features especially one who likes hot dogs…the little sausage dog features in a few more pages after that if you look closely too.
As with many picture books this one is multi layered for different ages. You can tell it’s likely Eliza Jane will get her own way through the language and also the illustrations. The book is lots of fun for all ages including grown-ups too.