Books
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Book Review – Edwina

In my recent article for Home School Enrichment, I mention the importance of allowing your youngster to grab a book off the library shelf for himself once in a while.  My own words came back to haunt me when my 3-year-old waved a dinosaur book in my face last week on my way to the check-out desk.  I am not one to naturally choose dinosaur picture books, per se, and modern ones featuring clothing-wearing, name-bearing dinos are even further down my list of “great reads.” But, I must admit, my three-year-old is a cutie, he knows how to ask nicely, and I did remember my own article at that moment.  So, I said, “Ok, dear, just this once,” and took the brightly-colored volume with as little disgust as I could manage.

Once home, the bright dino tale was buried strategically under the more carefully-chosen books on ancient Greece, light mythology, and classic picture books.  I was certain no one would find it under Pandora’s Box, the Trojan Horse, and a motherless mouse.  Was I ever wrong; the dino emerged to be read by three-fourths of the family within two days.  Soon, the walls were clammoring that I sit down immediately and read Edwina to the youngest.  The reptile that should have been extinct had come back to get me. I would be next to fall for the necklace-wearing extra-large lizard

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Edwina, the Dinosaur that Didn’t Know She Was Extinct is a humorous look at argument, propaganda, and  persuasion for young children.  Reginald Von Hoobie-Doobie, the school know-it-all, fails to convince his classmates that all dinosaurs are extinct because their friend Edwina regualarly helps the community and bakes them cookies.  His friends’ disagreement with what he considers scientific fact begins to engrage Reginald, and he uses every means he can to convince everyone of his position on dinosaur extinction.  In the end, it is only Edwina who will listen to him.  Her kindness and patience wins him over, and he puts aside his campaign in favor of eating cookies.

I appreciate the over-riding message of the book – “listen to others, even if you disagree with them” – and the humorous, yet thoughtful, way in which it is presented.  Edwina will be a frequent visitor in our home … until she comes here to stay.

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9 Comments

  1. Monkey was sitting at the table looking over my shoulder as I read this and said “Mommy what’s that dinosaur? I want that one! Can I click it?” I explained to him that it was a picture of a book, not a link to a game, which I knew is what he was thinking. “Oh, but it’s at the library, huh mom?” I do believe Edwina is going to find her way into my little monkey’s backpack the next library trip.

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    • See what I mean? That book cover is so stinkin’ attractive to little boys! Who would suspect it is really a “thinking persons” picture book? Can’t judge that one by the cover … if you are over the age of 8.

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  2. jewelryprincess says

    Funny. We had a similar experience. It was the “Three Horrid Little Pigs” that found their way into our bag. I almost didn’t read it because the pigs were so rude and mean and it was the wolf that was nice. I wasn’t sure where they were going with it. Then I thought about your article and decided to use it as a teaching tool for how rude they were acting. Then the wolf actually reaches out to help and they learn how bad they are being. And, they all live tolerantly, happily ever after. Not necessarily a keeper like yours sounds above; but I’m glad I decided to finish it to see where it would lead.

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  3. Dovey says

    I enjoyed your review and put the book on hold at the library. It sounds like one that will appeal to both my dino-crazy 3yo and my literary 8yo!

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  4. Kelly B. says

    Okay, we love Edwina here at my house. Actually, it’s because we love Mo Willems. We especially love the Gerald and Piggie books and if you haven’t found them…they are a MUST! He’s quite clever which turns into truly laughing out loud for us. My kids always “play” the characters when reading the Gerald and Piggie books (“Okay Em, you be Piggie and I’ll be Gerald”…from the 5 year-old)…

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  5. Elizabeth Bennett says

    To Julieprincess —
    We are so glad that The Three Horrid Little Pigs found its way into your bag and that you and your family found a way to appreciate the humor and subtle message.
    Thanks to Edwina for encouraging this wonderful discussion!
    Happy Reading,
    Elizabeth Bennett
    tiger tales

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