The Extinct Files

The Extinct Files: My Science Project, by Wallace Edwards

What this story is about:

Wally was planning to do his science project on his pet iguana. But just as he was getting started, he made a major discovery sure to rock the scientific community. He saw a dinosaur. Not a fossil, but a real dinosaur, right outside his bedroom window. Dinosaurs are alive — and living among us. In fact, they are right in Wally’s backyard! With the aid of stunning eyewitness accounts, The Extinct Files: My Science Project details the habitat, diet, grooming, health and fitness, communication and recreation of the contemporary dinosaurs, and much more. Wally has done his homework and it shows. His project follows tried-and-true scientific methodology and contains page after page of photographic evidence. But his shocking conclusion shows that today’s dinos guard their privacy fiercely?

My thoughts:

The Extinct Files: My Science Project is a cute, fun book about a boy who discovers dinosaurs aren’t extinct, but rather, alive and hiding among us.

The book is presented as a notebook containing Wally’s science project, with all the proper headings one would expect in a science project. “Photos” of the dinosaurs are “taped on”, lending to the illusion.

We had several laugh out loud moments reading this book, and Dylan was particularly fascinated by the illustrations.

Dylan’s review:

Funny, funny, funny. I like the part where the dinosaur ate half of the building. And dinosaurs at the restaurant. It was funny to see the dinosaurs reading the same book we were reading.

Learn, Play, Fun! Concepts learned:

You might think we used this book to launch into a more scientific discussion of dinosaur extinction, but we’ve already talked about dinosaurs a fair bit over the past year (it’s one of Dylan’s favorite subjects). Instead, I found this book a very useful – and fun! – way of illustrating what a science project is like: the detail in Wally’s observations, the photos he pasted into the book, the whole presentation of the project itself.

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Up Above & Down Below

Up Above and Down Below, by Sue Redding

What this story is about:

Ants march on a picnic and turn it upside down, returning with treats for friends underground. Up above, the ants are taking over a picnic. But down below is another story. Look closely and you’ll find very different worlds living side by side, at a picnic, in the ocean, in the blazing desert, even inside the same two-story home. Sue Redding’s bold, wonderfully detailed illustrations hide lots of fun and mischief — keep an eye out for the red ant and green worm who have snuck into every picture!

My thoughts:

The simple story line in Up Above and Down Below is accompanied by lovely and lively, detailed pictures that will keep a visually-oriented child busy for quite a while. This was a book that Dylan really enjoyed; during the week we had it out from the library, he looked through it over and over again. The pictures absolutely captivated him, as did the idea that there were such different things going on above and down below.

He was very reluctant to return the book to the library. Unfortunately, the book is out of print, but he liked it so much, I’m keeping it on his wishlist and might buy him a used copy.

Dylan’s review:

I like the part with the rabbits underground because they’re so silly. I liked how the gophers make a marble run for golf balls. I like the cover and back cover. I also like the ant part because they take everything and they play cards and go to the doctor.

Learn, Play, Fun! Concepts learned:

Up Above and Down Below is a whimsical look at the two different worlds up above and down below, but it makes an excellent jumping-off point for a discussion of how the world above ground are very different from the world under the ground.

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Review: There’s No Such Thing as a Dragon, by Jack Kent

March 23, 2011

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Review: Benny and Penny in Just Pretend, by Geoffrey Hayes

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