Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Dinosaurs' Night Before Christmas

The Dinosaurs' Night Before Christmas

Anne Muecke
Illustrator:  Nathan Hale 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 8
Chronicle Books, 2008   ISBN: 978-0811863223

It is Christmas Eve and all is quiet. A little boy wishes the dinosaurs in the museum across the road good night and he turns out the light. He is almost asleep when he hears "an unusual clatter of noises" in the museum. Looking out of his window he sees that the most amazing things are happening. The great dinosaur fossils are "starting to sway." Then they grow new bodies and soon the museum hall is full of bright eyed beasts with colorful skins and shining plates.

Unable to help himself, the little boy rushes out, padding across the snow covered street and into the museum. He does not even take the time to get dressed! The little boy is sneaking a peak into the main gallery when he is ambushed – by a kissing T.Rex who catches the boy under the "dinosaur's mistletoe," and gives him a big smooch.

Soon the boy is dancing and singing with his enormous friends as they celebrate the festive season. A tree is decorated, and with the help of a duckbilled dinosaur the little boy puts a shining star at the top of the tree. The fun is not over yet though. Dear me no! The best is yet to come.

In this hilarious take on Clement C. Moore's Christmas poem, Anne Muecke describes one little boy's fantastic dinosaur filled Christmas Eve. The rhymes are wonderfully funny, flowing from page to page with ease. Nathan Hale's illustrations are beautifully colorful, sparkling with festive jollity.

Though the book is more than enough to delight dinosaur and Christmas fans alike, there is even more to enjoy in this title. Included with the book there is a CD of dinosaur-centric Christmas carols. Among others there is "Hark the Pterodactlys Sing" and "We wish you a Dino Holiday. On the CD the songs are performed by people such as Donna Murphy and Maureen McGovern. The lyrics for the songs are included in the back of the book and there is also a recording of Al Roker reading the story.

All in all this is a wonderful title to share with a child during the Christmas season.