“This must be what it’s like to have a mother, thought Digby sleepily. Even a bird mother…or whatever these creatures are. That baby is lucky that’s she’s his mother. Digby scooted a little closer to Dakaana. I think she could be my mother, too, thought Digby the orphan boy. My real mother.” – Digby of the Dinosaurs
This new middle grade book from author Linda Yiannakis is, at its heart, a story about family. What makes a family? Love. That is the underlying message. When young orphan, Digby, goes out for a walk one day, he falls into a canyon and finds himself amongst strange, large creatures. Could they possibly be dinosaurs? Didn’t dinosaurs go extinct? What ensues is an adventure in which Digby will learn what it means to love, to be loved, and to belong.
This is the second book I have read by Linda Yiannakis. (If you haven’t read her first book – Erasable – you’re missing out!) What I love about her writing style is the timeless feel it has. Both Erasable and Digby could easily be set in the past or the present. I think this is because the messages in her books are timeless – messages of kindness, of love, of belonging, and realizing what’s really important in life. These lessons don’t expire and are good not only for kids but as a reminder for adults as well!
Digby’s story of being an orphan adopted by dinosaurs was reminiscent of Mowgli in The Jungle Book. Fans of that classic story should definitely pick up Digby of the Dinosaurs. You can join Digby as he learns about the struggles of being “adopted” by a dinosaur mother, how to be accepted by the other dinosaurs, overcoming obstacles (like his strange hands without claws), and the fascinating history of his dinosaur family and their ancestors. I can easily see this book being read in a classroom setting and inspiring discussions about being unique, what families look like, and finding your courage.
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