Friday, April 8, 2016

Jurassic Classics: The Prehistoric Masters of Literature - Saskia Lacey

Summary: Read classic literature from the eyes of the dinosaurs, and learn about the literary greats through humorous, prehistoric mashups and fun, dinosaur-themed facts.

Jurassic Classics: The Prehistoric Masters of Literature mixes prehistoric dinosaur humor with some of the great names of literary history to teach the classics in a fun and inviting way for children of all ages. The first book in a new series, The Prehistoric Masters of Literature, features an assortment of well-known, classic authors, such as the Bronte sisters, Jane Austen, and William Shakespeare, all under the guise of favorite dinosaur mashups (i.e. the "Brontësaurus" sisters). The Prehistoric Masters of Literature features a brief "dino" biography of each author, with real facts intertwined and modified to fit with the prehistoric theme. Each biographical spread also includes a short mini book of one of the author's classic novels, glued into the last pages. For instance, an abridged version of Wuthering Swamp Heights is included alongside the Brontesaurus sisters' biography. With the timeless popularity of dinosaur subjects for children, this new series is sure to engage and delight, as well as teach children about famous figures in history. (Summary and image from  I was provided a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.)

Review:  Step back in time to meet some of the most noted and celebrated prehistoric authors of the Jurassic (and others) Era. Lacey’s research has uncovered selected works from William Shakespeareasaurus, The Brontësaurus sisters, Edgar Allen Terrordactyl, Mark Twainceratops, Charles Dickensodocus, and Jane Austenlovenator.  Truly, we are better off for learning of these dinosaur geniuses and their works!

This is such a fun concept.  I have a budding paleontologist in my home who happens to be a crazy bookworm — this is the book I didn’t know I wanted to bridge her two interests!  Each Paleolithic author includes a small sample of their greatest work, especially adapted for a younger audience.  For example, Shakespearesaurus writes:

Hark, what lady doth slurp from under pond?
O grisly goddess, thou art a grand sight.
Never have I loved before this night.
I after my claw, my most noble miss.
If thou art offended by its rough touch, 
May I present my snout for a tender kiss?

I have to admit, I was sold as soon as I read that.

Although it’s fun to reimagine some of literature’s greats as dinosaurs, Lacey has included biographies of their more modern counterparts.  My daughter is still a few years away from tackling Jane Austen or Edgar Allen Poe, but this is an excellent bridge into making these authors, so important to the life of a bookworm, accessible.

Rating: Four stars

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