“ Paperback: 36 pages / Publisher: Soundprints / Published: April 2007 „
Ankylosaurus Fights Back is part of Smithsonian's Prehistoric Pals series. These books are published in a wide variety of formats, including a hardcover edition, a good sized paper back - roughly 12" high and a miniature paperback which is only about 4" tall. I was unaware of this fact and ended up with the tiny one by mistake. Some of these books also come with a cd-rom of the story and/or a stuffed animal, and a pull out poster. My copy of this book did not have any of the extras, but one of our other books had a lovely pull out poster. This series has books about several different dinosaurs and prehistoric animals , including Parasaurolophus, Apatosaurus, Spinosaurus, Triceratops, Velociraptor, Iguanodon, the Woolly Mammoth and more.
Each story in this series is beautifully illustrated, and follows the day of the featured dinosaur. The stories are plausible, but simple and not exceptionally exciting. My youngest did love the Parasaurolphus book for awhile, simply because he really loves these dinosaurs, and this book was a big hit with both boys because of the farting. It begins with Ankylosaurus contently munching on plants. The book tells us that the type of plants he ate were not very nutritious, and of course this is a large animal so it had to eat a lot. The side effect this was quite a lot of gas, and according to the book this dinosaur had an extra large stomach to accommodate the massive amount of gas he produces. My children like the part where his stomach rumbles and all the other animals flee before the impending stink bomb. I think this book is bound to bring a giggle from most very young children. In addition to eating and farting, Ankylosaurus also has a battle with a T-Rex, before going back to eating and farting some more.
Without the gas attacks, I don't think this book would have been very exciting except for children who really love this type of dinosaur, but as Ankylosaurus is one of many favourites in our house ( although not as well loved as Parasaurolophus) and because of the humorous nature of this one - it was quite popular. If you have a child with a real love for one specific type of dinosaur, I think it is well worth looking to see if there is a book in this series for it. I would also recommend this specific book for children with a general fascination with dinosaurs who are still young enough to imagine giant dinosaur farts as very amusing. I do feel these books have some educational value as well, teaching children about prehistoric animals, and might be especially useful for very young children who grow bored quickly with non fiction - but I do consider their main value to be in entertainment. I can't say that my children learned anything from these books, but then they have read many other dinosaur books in the past. But they were fun and made a lovely addition to our bedtime story time - so I am giving this a full 5 stars. I would note though that scientific doubt has been cast upon some of the activities in the Parasaurolophus book. I have found a number of sources which support the idea of Ankylosaurus producing large amounts gas though, so as far as I know this is scientifically accurate - at least until someone digs up something to throw a spanner in the works - which happens quite often were dinosaurs are concerned.
Prices on this book vary widely from £16.66 for a complete set of book, stuffed animal, cd and poster ( which I would have bought had it been available at the time) to £2.81 for paperback copy alone. I do feel this would best suit younger children ages 2-6. Because of the age range, I do feel this book would be more useful with the toy as well, and might well become a firm favourite as the child can watch the toys adventure. I did consider buying a new book with the toy - simply because it looks lovely - but my son wants other books more than he wants the toy - especially as he already has this book.