What's Wrong with a Pet Dinosaur?

Poems and Drawings

Children - Grade K-3rd
170 Pages
Reviewed on 10/10/2021
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

Life is full of silly innuendoes and funny stories. Why not share in the laughter, the giggle, and chuckles? Better yet, how about writing a silly poem to make others laugh? A poem about a pet dinosaur who is quite big, so much so that when he lay down to sleep, the windows broke. Sadly, Mom insisted on getting rid of it. Or how about a poem about the twenty-six letters of the alphabet – and there really must be a letter that follows ‘Z,’ but no one you ask seems to understand the question. Or, here’s my favorite – the six-minute piano practice that must stop because their hands are hurting. There are so many fun activities to replace practicing, like playing ball, hanging from the bars, just breathing the fresh air, and feeling the sun on your face.

Tony Philips’s What’s Wrong with a Pet Dinosaur? is a whimsical look at life that will definitely appeal to young readers of all ages and tickle their funny bone in the process. The poet/artist addresses all manner of interesting tidbits of life and presents his findings in lyrical verse that is childishly serious enough to be absolutely hilarious (at times, anyway). Laughter is the best medicine for the soul, and this book is full of it. From whimsical thoughts to unusual pets and any manner of excuses a child can possibly conjure up, the book is a treasury of possibilities, what-ifs, and fun times, all in read-aloud and laugh-out-loud poetry accompanied by equally entertaining line drawings. This is definitely a fun read for all.

Shannon Winings

What's Wrong with a Pet Dinosaur? by Tony Philips is full of fun and everything a kid could want. Each page is filled with black and white doodles sure to make visions dance in your head. The collection of poetry manages to sum up childhood and imagination so effortlessly. Readers get to follow a narrator wishing for the best birthday party ever, a rabbit who makes spaghetti, a pet dinosaur, and more. Parents and teachers who read this book to children will find themselves laughing and following along. As an added bonus, this book might answer all the questions your little one has, like what comes after the letter "z." Of course, it may also give them more questions, but that's part of the fun of childhood.

I found myself falling in love with What's Wrong with a Pet Dinosaur? at every turn. It was witty, comical, thoughtful, and unique. Tony Philips captured childhood with his words, and, like myself, readers will find themselves reminiscing with their kids. While more color may be needed to capture young minds, the illustrations complemented the poems well. They enhanced the words on the pages and gave visuals to fuel young imaginations. The book may be a little long for early elementary schoolers, but teachers can break the poems into smaller sections. At the same time, this is the perfect book for introducing poetry to young ones, given its light-hearted and lyrical nature. They're sure to enjoy it from beginning to end.

Daniel D Staats

In his delightful book, What’s Wrong with a Pet Dinosaur?, Tony Philips talks about dinosaurs as well as many other animals. His poems are entertaining and light-hearted. Not only can Tony write fun poems, but he is also a talented artist and draws excellent illustrations to punctuate the gist of the poems. These nonsensical poems will tickle the ribs of both children and the parent who reads to them. So, sit down with your child in your lap and enjoy a time of relaxation and laughter. Tony seems to have only one aim in this book, and that is to entertain. He hits the target in the center. If you do not get a chuckle from this book, go see your doctor because your funny bone is broken! They say laughter is the best medicine, and this book will cure whatever ails you.

Poetry cannot be taught. Therefore, people are inspired to write poems, or they are not able to write poetry. Tony Philips obviously had an extra helping of inspiration. Tony shows his mastery of poetic inspiration in What’s Wrong with a Pet Dinosaur? through his desire to delight. He is a master of rhyme. Tony writes in a style that allows even little ones to read most of the words. I think reading this book with your child will be some of the best bonding times you will ever have. The first night you read this book with your child, you will be creating a life-long memory. What’s Wrong with a Pet Dinosaur? is destined to become a classic.