Kristin Guay, reviewer and former Youth Services Librarian, has left a wondrous review for John Condon’s, The Wondrous Dinosaurium;
What did you like about the book? Many children love dinosaurs and what child would not want a dinosaur for a pet? In this story, Danny has finally convinced his mom to let him get a new pet. However, she might not realize that the pet he has in mind is not a dog, cat, or goldfish, but a dinosaur! Danny heads into town to visit Mr. Ree’s Dinosaurium (because that is where you go when you want a new dinosaur). There are so many to choose from and Danny struggles with finding the perfect dinosaur as a pet. His first choice is a Diplodocus Longus, but that one requires ½ ton of vegetation each day. Next he chooses a Tyrannosaurus Rex, but decides not to bring it home when he realizes it is a meat eater. This continues with several other dinosaurs, but they all are not quite the right fit–one flies too high dragging Danny with it, the other poops too much, another one chases the cat, one has a messy sneeze, and the last one has a hard tail that whacks everything in its path. Danny finally finds the perfect dinosaur, a Meiolania, and brings it home in a small cardboard box. His mother is pleased because she thinks he brought home a turtle (because that is what a Meiolania looks like), but Danny knows that he really brought home a dinosaur. At the end of the book, we see Danny and his “turtle” two years later and realize it is not a turtle after all!
The illustrations provided by Steve Brown add more humor to the already silly story. Such details as a bite mark on the “Open” sign, Mr. Ree’s outlandish outfit, foliage missing from trees in town because of a hungry dinosaur, the license plate of a car “D1NO”, and an umbrella used by Mr. Ree to shelter him from the drool of the T Rex are all funny little details that young children will enjoy seeing.
Anything you did not like about the book. Nothing
To whom would you recommend this book? I would recommend this book for children ages three and older. This is a perfect story for a child who loves dinosaurs, but it would definitely be enjoyed by other children as well due to the silly nature of the story.
Who should buy this book? Public libraries, daycare centers, preschools, anyone who works with children ages three and older.
Where would you shelve it? Picture books
Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Kristin Guay, former youth services librarian.
Date of review: April 2, 2020