Winnie’s Dinosaur Day: Valerie Thomas & Korky Paul
(Oxford University Press, 2012)
This is quite a special Winnie the Witch book. Not only is it published in Winnie’s 25th anniversary year but it’s the 13th picture book in the series, and Valerie Thomas & Korky Paul have really excelled themselves with both a wonderful story and some of my absolute favourite illustrations so far.
Her drawing looked exactly like the triceratops.
Well, it looked quite like the triceratops.
It helps that I am Oxfordshire born and bred, because the first page just jumps out for me: it’s the Natural History Museum! Or to give it the correct title, Oxford University Museum of Natural History. Instead of twelve roof windows, there’s thirteen (of course) but what a lovely sight for an Oxford girl like me! Er, yes, there’s apparently tons of Oxford references in all of Korky’s illustrations, but I’m a bit slow…
Korky’s illustrations really make the Winnie the Witch books and Valerie’s text is perfect with some subtle dry humour for older readers as well as being enjoyable stories from a young age. In Dinosaur Day, Winnie and Wilbur are coming back from the library when they see something happening in the museum courtyard: a drawing competition! Winnie wants to win, and being Winnie she takes a non standard route to enter. Poor Wilbur unhappily tags along, but in the end everyone is happy even without winning.
I don’t know where to start with how perfect this book is. It’s got dinosaurs; and drawing; and visiting museums & libraries; and not having to win to be happy; and thinking ‘outside the box’ to solve problems; and dinosaurs! Did I mention the dinosaurs?!
DG is a fidget when it comes to reading, she always wanders about, and she talks about all the pictures whereas MG listens to the story first and then wants to go back through. DG also questions everything:
“… Winnie got out her drawing book and her coloured pencils. …”
“Is not pencils, is a paint brush! Look!”
“Yes… But there are pencils there too…”
MG said the book was both “Brilliant!” and “Magnificent!” I didn’t even know she knew the word magnificent. Her favourite parts were the end papers (if you’ve not read any Winnie the Witch books, all the end papers are drawn by various children); “Big dinosaurs, enormous dinosaurs, gigantic dinosaurs!”; and the final double spread (which is another moment of comic brilliance but I won’t post a picture so as not to ruin the ending.)
One of my favourite parts is all the different dinosaur pictures for the competition, and the lovely little touches like the number 25 appearing on all the paint tubes
At time of posting, the hardback is only £3.99 with Red House (free P&P if you’re an Extra member, or if you spend over £15), so there’s no reason not to buy several copies to give to every child you know
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