Tag Archives: Leonie Lord

The Super Swooper Dinosaur by Martin Waddell & Leonie Lord

The Super Swooper Dinosaur: Martin Waddell & Leonie Lord (Orchard Books, 2012)

The Super Swooper Dinosaur: Martin Waddell & Leonie Lord (Orchard Books, 2012)

The Super Swooper Dinosaur is a ‘sequel’ to The Dirty Great Dinosaur, which we also have. I bought The Dirty Great Dinosaur because of loving Leonie Lord’s art in Whiffy Wilson and was delighted to be sent the second book in the series. The first one confuses me slightly: at the end the pet dog is shown with a toy dinosaur and I’m not sure if you’re meant to realise that the dinosaur was all in the child’s imagination or whether it was supposed to be real. A bit too deep for small children perhaps, and there seems to be no ambiguity in the sequel.

The Super Swooper Dinosaur tries to play different games with Hal, but he’s not very good at any of them because he’s too big. In the end, they do what he does best – swoop! Seeing a pterodactyl/pteranodon crying is a very silly sight, but the subtext of the story is probably on how to make playdates feel okay when they visit?

Oh, I read too much into these books sometimes! It’s a lovely story of a boy, and his dog, and his dinosaur, in an idyllic village setting with lots of outdoor space, lots of playing, and lots of fun. Great for any child who likes dinosaurs. So, about 90% of all small children then 😉

Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of The Super Swooper Dinosaur by Hachette Childrens Books for review. No other financial reward was given and the opinions are my own. I was not asked to write this post.

Fiction Fridays #27: Whiffy Wilson


FF#27
Whiffy Wilson: Caryl Hart & Leonie Lord (2011)

There was a wolf called Wilson
Who never brushed his hair.
He never washed his paws or face
Or changed his underwear.

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Rhyming books are lovely to read aloud, the rhythm carries the story along and they’re easier to memorise (I remember reciting the whole of the Gruffalo to MG to calm her on a trip out when she was younger, although I can’t any more!) I also like that it gives children the chance to guess the next word by working out the rhyme. Whiffy Wilson has a fantastic example of the word you’re *supposed* to guess being replaced by a non-rhyming word which makes me giggle (although my girls haven’t quite ‘got’ that idea yet but I’m sure the eldest will soon…)

Sadly there are several children’s books written in rhyme that just don’t scan and use words to force the plot that don’t rhyme, or make sense. I once said that I prefered prose books because a bad rhyme can be so awful but a good rhyme is perfect. Whiffy Wilson is on the perfect side.

Wilson is a wolf who doesn’t like to wash, but through the intervention of his good friend Dotty he learns that washing is good. As a parent I love the fact that the book distinguishes between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ dirt. I do want my children to have fun, to splash in puddles, to play with mud, to climb trees, to get dirty because they were exploring and adventuring… So I love that there is a distinction made between this and dirt that can make you ill. Nice and educational 🙂

The artwork along with the verse is beautiful. Leonie Lord appears to use pencils for her art which give a lovely scruffy feel to Wilson. Wilson is an adorable character (despite being smelly in the beginning) and Dotty a great friend. The duo make a book suitable for boys and girls, and I love the non-sterotyped girl swinging through trees.

Between the wonderful artwork and the humourous verse, this book is a delight to read over and over again. I hugely recommend Whiffy Wilson.