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Daw, Lesley Geekie

Dennis the Dinosaur

Illustrated by Deon Louw and Ambrosius Amunyela. Windhoek, Namibia: Gamsberg Macmillan, 2002. No pag. ISBN 99916-0-353-0. Ages 4-8.

Based on an idea by Andreas H. Schott, this story, aided by bright and cheerful colour pictures, tells of the birth of a baby dinosaur (Dennis) into a hard, dry landscape. Then a “huge, smelly, noisy thing” (no pag.) arrives – a half-truck with two children on board. They take young Dennis back to their farm, where he grows and grows and wreaks havoc around the home. At last they force him to live outside, but the children still play with him – and hence come to meet other dinosaurs such as Triceratops and Brachiosaurus.

Of course, there are no dinosaurs for today’s children to meet, but Africa was full of them once. This little story avoids the “terrible lizard” reputation, and treats dinosaurs in a friendly fashion. Dennis is neither a monster nor a pseudo dragon – he is just hungry! The text is simple and clearly printed, while the pictures are engaging and offer an accurate idea of what is now the Namib Desert region of Namibia. Although this is hardly a top quality picture book, it is a useful publication for the children of Namibia. This book was produced by the Upgrading African Languages Project (AfriLa) in Namibia.

Picture Books


Gamsberg Macmillan Publishers (Pty) Ltd