The Fire Chronicle (Books of Beginning): John Stephens
Charlie and the Christmas Kitty: Ree Drummond & Diane deGroat

Two Holiday Books from the "How Do Dinosaurs" Series: Jane Yolen & Mark Teague

Book: How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah? and How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas?
Author: Jane Yolen
Illustrator: Mark Teague
Pages: 40
Age Range: 4-8 

I'm not a huge fan of Yolen and Teague's "How Do Dinosaurs ..." series (though I think that they are both very talented). It's just that I don't tend to favor books that use a fictionalized format to so overtly teach something to kids (in this case, proper behavior). However, I did like How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah? and How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas? more than the other books in the series. Perhaps a bit of sentimentality on my part in reference to the holidays.

In each of these two books, Yolen and Teague introduce various holiday traditions through the misbehavior of assorted young dinosaurs. Like this:

"And the very next day
does he grab up
the gelt,

squeezing the
candy coins
till they all


"Does he eat all the cookies
left out for
Saint Nick,

giving each candy cane
one sloppy lick?" 

These first parts of the book are humorous. Teague's dinosaurs cavort about the house, gleefully misbehaving, even as distressed parents race to stop the madness. These sections of the books are also educational about holiday traditions without feeling didactic. It's only in the last part of each book, where the dinosaurs behave properly, that the books start to feel a bit too sugary for me. But it's hard for a Christmas book about dinosaurs to be too sugary.

I think that fans of the series will enjoy these two holiday-themed installments. The end pages alone (showing the different types of dinosaurs in their holiday gear) make it worth checking out the books.

Publisher: Blue Sky Press (@Scholastic)
Publication Date: September 1, 2012
Source of Book: Review copies from the publisher

© 2012 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through Amazon links may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).