I was contacted some time ago by author Julia Inserro who wanted to inquire about my book reviews, but because I hadn’t properly set up the “Contact” page on my website, I didn’t see her messages for several months! I quickly contacted her to apologize for the delay, and fortunately she didn’t take offense at my unintentional neglect. She went on to ask if I would like to review her book, to which I happily agreed!
Dinosaurs in the Hardware Store (originally released as Pterosaur in the Hardware Store) is a storybook about a brother and sister on an errand with their mom, who imagine they see multiple prehistoric creatures hiding between the aisles of their local hardware store. A row of shovels seems to hide a Stegosaurus, an umbrella puts them on the trail of a pterosaur, and the jungle-like garden center becomes the perfect hiding places for the King of Dinosaurs himself…
The story celebrates the power of imagination, and aims to inspire kids to find ways to turn any occasion into an exciting adventure. Considering the intent of this book, I don’t intend to comment much on the scientific accuracy of the creatures in this book. Luis Peres’ child-friendly cartoons are more or less recognizable as the creatures they mean to represent, and don’t need to strive for the accuracy of a scientific diagram to properly serve the story they are trying to tell. That being said, I feel like I still must take a couple points off for the Triceratops with only one horn, and the Velociraptor with no feathers. While to be fair, the average child likely would imagine a scaly raptor, these sorts of light reading books are exactly where the imaginations of real children will be influenced when it comes to promoting the updated appearance of these dinosaurs.
Artistic quibbles aside, Dinosaurs in the Hardware Store is an enjoyable read. I remember doing the same thing as the children in the story when I was a kid. Nothing spiced up a boring car ride or shopping trip like imagining modern-day dinosaurs roaming around just out of reach! I imagine younger children will find similar inspiration from this book for themselves. Happy reading!