Book of the Week - Dinosaurs Love Underpants

Dinosaurs Love Underpants by Claire Freedman, Illustrated by Ben Cort

One would think that any story that included underpants and dinosaurs would be a winner with kids, especially boys. For the kids at my story time, this just wasn't so. The book begins:

Dinosaurs were all wiped out,
A long way back in history,
No one knows quite how or why,
This book solves the mystery...

In this follow-up to the award-winning Aliens Love Underpants, Claire Freedman attempted to write another fun underpants story, but the story simply felt forced. The rhymes often did not flow, not rolling off the tongue, and often I stumbled on the long lines. Worse yet, even though the story line is supposed to be silly, it just didn't make sense. Although there is an obvious beginning and end, the middle muddled through with lots of underpants but no story line.

This could have been so much better. The illustrations were vibrant and fun, but the greatest illustrations cannot save a story with a loose plot. Most of the laughs generated by this book were from the illustrations which makes this story fun to look at but a hard read. And a hard sell.

My recommendation is stick with the original Aliens Love Underpants and find another fun Dinosaurs story. Hopefully one with a real story that matches the fun illustrations.


Danette said...

I like the fact that you not only review a book on its merits (or lack thereof), but that you gauge children's reactions to the book as well. Such a good lesson for us writers: Underpants will not save the day!