by Lisa Wheeler
Illustration by Barry Gott
Carolrhoda Books, 2013
Previewed from NetGalley
Audience: Early Elementary
Publication Date: October 1, 2013
Let's get ready to rumble! I had to say it.
After taking on several other sports (football, basketball, baseball, hockey, and soccer), these dinosaurs are ready for some wrestling. Different types of dinos demonstrate the different types of wrestling, from the more admired Freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling, to the more entertaining world of Lucha Libre and WWF styles. The illustrations are vibrant and the whole tone is fun. Even T-Rex gets in on the action, although as the text points out "T-Rex arms are way too short/Why did he ever choose this sport?". The rhymes lose some momentum toward the end and start falling off the meter, but this mash-up of two popular topics will have your youngest readers captivated.
I personally love the Dino-Sport books by Lisa Wheeler. It can be surprisingly difficult to find simple enough books for a sport story time. The Dino-Sport books not only are great for story time read a-louds, but they also contain dinosaurs, which just ups the cool factor. Although you will have that one kid that actually knows facts about dinosaurs and he will spend the entire story time correcting you. That's just part of the job.
This Dino-Sport books is a little interesting. While I like it and I certainly think it will be a hit with the readers, I think I would pass on it for story time. Mostly because at the end, the whole crowd gets involved in the wrestling match, and I wouldn't want to put that idea in my story time crowds head. Now, for one on one reading, it could lead to a pretty epic round of couch cushion wrestling, and that's fine, just hide the metal folding chairs. If parents are really ambitious, this is also a great teachable moment for what's real and not real in the world of wrestling, although that's probably pushing things a little far. But I am the kind of person that loves to talk over children's heads on occasion just to see their reaction.
Anyway, overall, Dino-Wrestling will be a hit sure to inspire like luchadores and sumo wrestlers alike!