Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Small Readers: Max Spaniel: Dinosaur Hunt by David Catrow

Digging through the archives...

Did I say I wanted books that were new and fresh? Here they are! It's been a while since I've seen an easy reader that broke away from the classic Frog and Toad form. (Cork and Fuzz, Mouse and Mole, Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa, Houndsley and Catina, Elephant and Piggie, you get the idea). Not since Fly Guy, in fact. But here it is!

David Catrow's first writing effort is a doozy; a plump and wiggly spaniel named Max, who is not a dog is really...a dinosaur hunter! He has many different ways to hunt and lots of equipment, and with a little imagination and the right equipment, he finds dinosaur remains in the most interesting places.

The text is well-suited for a beginning reader, with a little help on long words like "dinosaur". The illustrations and text are very closely aligned, each sentence either illustrated or contrasted by its corresponding illustration. This is David Catrow's first book and he's created delightfully silly text to match his exuberant drawings. Max Spaniel is inherently doggie, but he's also every kid, on a great adventure with whatever comes to hand....or paw.

Verdict: Funny, exuberant, and full of Catrow's signature illustrations, this new easy reader series is sure to be popular.

Revisited: Yep, this series is almost as popular as Fly Guy. I've had to replace it several times. Still a popular choice for beginning readers!

ISBN: 978-0545057486; Published August 2009 by Orchard Books; Review copy provided by the publisher for Cybils; Purchased for the library

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