Monday 21 November 2016

Return of the Dinosaurs

Return of the Dinosaurs by Bronwyn Houston (Magabala Books) HB RRP $17.99 ISBN 9781925360370

Reviewed by Brook Tayla

There’s a lot to really like about Bronwyn Houston’s latest picture book. The first thing is that she addresses the question we have all contemplated at some time: ‘What if dinosaurs still roamed the Earth today?’  Dinosaurs may have died out but our curiosity about them never has. This ‘factional’ book presents a fun story based on the prehistoric creatures that actually inhabited Broome, Australia in the Cretaceous Period and places them back in our time where they get to do things like go to the movies!

The opening page brings readers right into the story and sets up enough intrigue to make one want to read on. The balance between visual and verbal text works well; the narrated text feels like a casual conversation and Bronwyn’s extremely detailed and bright collages, and on edge-to-edge double-paged spreads which engage readers to be participants. There are extra bits and pieces to find in Bronwyn’s artwork and she interplays a dual text element with dinosaur comments and questions.  Observing the scale of the dinosaurs and their surroundings is intriguing, too.

I think there was an opportunity to present more interesting end papers with this book and sometimes the main text and the extra ‘dinosaur dialogue’ felt misplaced as I prefer primary text to always prelude secondary text, however these are small factors that do not take away from the book’s appeal.

The book ends with an information page about Bronwyn Houston and the dinosaurs that lived in Broome, including a map, which ties this factional story together neatly and gives readers plenty to think about and perhaps research, and of course there has been plenty of fun and mischief along the way.

Brook Tayla writes a blog called and would love you to drop by, read some reviews, leave a comment and subscribe.

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