My Grandpa is a Dinosaur by Richard Fairgray and Terry Jones, colouring by Tara Black, Penguin Random House
The people behind this quirky picture book are better known as the producers of comic books, including the Blastosaurus series (you can visit them at www.squareplanetcomics.com). They took some steps a while ago towards traditional picture books with their series about a boy called Morgan. Now they have found a traditional publisher and have adopted some standard picture book conventions. The humorous heart of the story is revealed in the title phrase: old people are often called dinosaurs, and in this book the phrase is taken literally as well as figuratively. Wanda can’t understand why nobody will accept that her grandpa is an actual dinosaur. The fact that her big sister shreds chippies in an electric fan, while her parents fish for their dinner in a glass of water is irrelevant (but keen-eyed youngsters will find these pictures hilarious). The trope is continued till Wanda goes to her grandfather’s retirement village and finds many more dinosaurs.
The sophisticated humour and the very modern, edgy style of the illustrations prompt me to say that the book is probably more suitable for children of primary-school age rather than pre-schoolers.
ISBN 978 0 14 350719 2 RRP $19.99 Pb
Reviews by Lorraine Orman