Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Book #178: Dinotrux by Chris Gall

Image from ChrisGall.com

The trucks we see today are useful, but millions of years ago prehistoric trucks roamed the earth, huge and hungry. They were called Dinotrux. They didn’t play well with each other and terrorized the cave people. The Craneosaurus used his long neck to eat the birds in the trees. The Firesaurus spit out raw lava. And the bully of the prehistoric land was the Trannosaurus Trux. After ruling for millions of years there was a huge and terrible storm. Many Dinotrux rusted, but the smarter ones went south and over millions of years they evolved into the helpful trucks we know today.

The action packed illustrations are chock full of Dinotrux digging, rolling, and chomping. There’s also a fold out page that shows the transition of the Dinotrux from prehistoric troublemakers into the helpful trucks of today. There’s humor in the word play of the names of the Dinotrux and the short text is large and easy to read. Gall uses size and color to emphasize specific words, such as names, numbers, and verbs. Check out the book trailer for a look at the artwork and tone of the book.

Initially, I was suspicious, thinking the combined use of dinosaurs and trucks a bit gimmicky. However, I found the book to be clever and fun to read aloud. The text and illustrations have a bit of potty humor (the Blacktopadon pees asphalt and the Cementosaurus leaves a trail of stinky cement), but never to the point of overpowering the story. This book will definitely appeal to boys who are getting ready or have already read Captain Underpants series.

Replace the word “truck” or “dinosaur” in a rhyme or song with “dinotrux.” You could also sing a dinotrux version of If You’re Happy and You Know It, If You’re a Dinotrux and You Know It. Change the verses to sing about chomping, honking, digging, and rolling, with actions that go along with the verses.

If you’re looking for quick and easy printables, check out the matching game, word search, and maze created by publishers LB Kids.

A sequel, Revenge of the Dinotrux, was recently released and shows what happens when the fossils of Dinotrux come alive to rule the world once more.


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