Tuesday, July 10, 2018

"Did Dinosaurs Have Dentists? " - a bookwrap


Authored by Patrick O'Donnell
Illustrated by Erik Mehlen

* Age Range: 5-8
* Grade Level: 1-2
* Publisher : Schiffera; 8 edition 
* Pub. Date: September 28, 2018
* Language: English

In His Own Words

The idea for "Did Dinosaurs Have Dentists" came while I was taking my youngest son to have a cavity filled. He was scared, dreading the drill, and kept trying to convince me that he'd be fine if we just "let it go." Not wanting to delve into Disney tune territory, and unwilling to run all his food through a blender for the foreseeable future, I played around with a little alliteration to occupy his mind. It worked wonders, and I soon found myself jotting notes on a cell phone while we sat in the waiting room. 

Within a few weeks those notes turned into a first draft, and I read it to my captive audience. My boys each gave me two thumbs (and two big toes) up. With positive reviews like that, I went in search of an illustrator. 

I was doubly blessed when I discovered Erik Mehlen -- one, because he's a fantastic artist and not only got my vision, but improved upon it; and two, because it turns out that Erik is a nephew I never knew I had. But that, as they say, is a story for another time ...

Unwrapping some fun illustrations

About the book

This is a sweet book marrying two very unlikely themes... dinosaurs and dentistry.  A young child is pondering if dinosaurs brush their sharp pointy teeth, floss, ever have to get braces or do they use toothpaste and mouthwash to keep their teeth shiny and pearly white.  All these  questions swirl around and around his head while en route to a routine dental checkup.  

" Did a Megalosaurus's molars need cleaning?

" Did a Brachiosaurus ever need braces?"

"Did a Camarasaurus ever get a crown?"

"Did a Stegosaurus like to floss?' 

" Did a Centrosaurus ever get cavities?" ... to cite a few.

 This fun picture book with it's whimsical illustrations presents eleven "tooth terms" that kids will be familiar with and at the back of book includes an Oral Hygiene Glossary and a Bibliography of some online sources to help clarify names, pronunciations, and facts about the dinosaurs starring in this book.  I always find these add-ons are wonderful for kids to go deeper and explore the themes further if they so wish. 

Shining the light on dinosaur dental hygiene is a subliminal way of encouraging kids that taking care of their own teeth is a  very good thing to do.  This book can be a catalyst for discussions regarding care of your teeth.  

Storybook Rating - 5 HUGS!!!!

Meet the author

Patrick O’Donnell has been writing stories since he was eight years old, and he’s only ever had two cavities. He’s held many jobs, including copy editor, cook, landscaper, photographer, and even small-engine mechanic, but his favorite jobs are writer and father. His two boys used to be afraid of the dentist, but they love to visit now. They also love, in no particular order, dinosaurs, spaghetti and meatballs, leaving laundry and Legos all over the floor, and story time.

About the illustrator

Raised by wolves in the deep jungles of India after a tiger attack separated him from his family . ... wait a minute, wrong bio. Okay, here we go: Erik Mehlen is an American illustrator who has received awards from the Society of Illustrators and has been recognized with three ADDY awards for his illustrations. He studied at Atlanta College of Art and currently resides in San Antonio, Texas.

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