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I'm A Dirty Dinosaur: Janeen Brian & Ann James

Book: I'm A Dirty Dinosaur
Author: Janeen Brian
Illustrator: Ann James
Pages: 22
Age Range: 2-4

I'm A Dirty Dinosaur is a picture book by Janeen Brian and Ann James, imported from Australia by Kane Miller. It's a short book aimed at the youngest of listeners. The very simple plot involves a dinosaur who gets progressively more dirty from page to page, and finally take a bath in a swamp at the end of the book. What lifts this book above the ordinary is that after each new progression of dirtiness there is a page with bouncy sounds to which kids can learn to sing along. For example:

"I'm a dirty dinosaur
with a dirty snout.

I never wipe it clean
I just sniff and snuff about."

The above is shown as regular text across a single page spread, with illustrations of the dirty-faced dinosaur on each page. Then on the next page, in big, multi-colored letters that encourage singing or shouting, we have:


It's pretty obvious as the book moves along, and the dinosaur gets dirtier, that he's going to eventually end up clean. Too obvious for older kids, I think. But toddlers will get a real kick out of the dirty dinosaur, and especially the energetic and colorful refrains. 

James' illustrations are minimalist, with the dinosaur merely outlined, and a few splashed of brown paint added for dirt. These are the kinds of illustrations that feel accessible to young kids, as though they could draw a dinosaur and add dirt paint to him, too. 

In terms of format, I'm A Dirty Dinosaur is a 10 by 10 book with thick pages, not quite as stiff as a board book, but more robust than regular paper. The story starts right on the inside cover, like in a board book. Apart from the brown of the dirt and the white of the background, the colors are bright, mostly primary colors. The cover looks as though it was finger-painted. All in all, quite friendly for the youngest of readers. 

I'm A Dirty Dinosaur is a fun book for toddlers that encourages them to memorize and sing along with certain sounds. Young kids will identify with the way it celebrates being dirty, and appreciate the bright colors. Recommended for home or early preschool use.  

Publisher: Kane Miller Book Publishers 
Publication Date: September 1, 2014 (US Edition)
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook. This site is an Amazon and iBooks affiliate, and purchases made through affiliate links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).