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
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.