Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Dinosaur Christmas

Pallotta, Jerry (Author)
McWilliam, Howard (Illustrator)
Scholastic 2013. 32 pages
First published: 2013
ISBN: 9780545433600 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, structures and features

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

When a little girl sends Santa a postcard asking who pulled his sleigh before reindeers, he is prompted to reflect on the good, very old days when dinosaurs helped him get around. He tried out all sorts of species. The Triceratops “were steady and ready … but a bit slow.” And the Parasaurolophus “honked and squeaked too loud.” Pterosaurs flew too high and Velociraptors were awfully fidgety. Some dinosaurs proved quite helpful; others were a total disaster.

Dynamic, caricatured artwork is done through pencil sketches coloured in digital acrylics, giving them an animated film feel. One double-page spread shows a small panel insert of Santa hitching up a Giganotosaurus. Meanwhile, in the space that surrounds it, ferocious jaws move toward the reader as the snowy landscape blurs beside the lightning quick dinosaur and Santa’s small sleigh rockets. Santa writes: “It was a gigantic-o-mistake-o.”

A lovely sense of Santa’s voice pervades the text as he recounts his trial and error experiences with the primeval creatures: “And those Tyrannosaurus Rex … They wouldn’t stop licking me!”

A charming mash-up of the modern day and prehistoric that blends holiday cheer with some wild primordial fun.

  •  Go on a picture walk and make predictions about the book.
  •  

    Make a class list of the dinosaurs in this story. Then add any of your favourites that are not mentioned. Talk about which dinosaurs would be best at guiding Santa’s sleigh.

  •  

    Illustrate a new page to show which dinosaur you think should guide Santa’s sleigh. Compile your drawings into a class book. Talk about your page as you read the new book together.

  •  

    Discuss what you know about Christmas and Santa Claus. Start an anchor chart list of related vocabulary, with accompanying illustrations.

  •  

    What do you know about dinosaurs? Are they typically part of a Christmas celebration?

  •  

    After the book is read aloud, discuss different ways of sorting the dinosaurs featured in the book. Use teacher-selected resources to find out more about these dinosaurs.

  •  In your opinion, which dinosaur would be most effective in guiding Santa’s sleigh on Christmas night? Why do you think so?
  • Personal and Career Planning
  • Science and Technology