Planet Picture Book

Express Delivery from Dinosaur World

A gloriously illustrated, interactive dinosaur book with ten challenges for readers to complete before they can return to their own world.

Enter this book and enter the Cretaceous period, where a forest holds secrets, a maze lies between the mountains . . . and the dinosaurs are hungry!

Express Delivery from Dinosaur World is an interactive picture book with ten challenges for readers to complete before they can return to their own world. Short paragraphs of polished text guide the reader through the adventure and encourage them to explore each double spread in detail. In some challenges, explorers must discover a hidden element, such as a flashlight or baby raptor; in others, they need to solve a puzzle. Only then can they move forward in the adventure. And the solutions are not immediately obvious . . . that maze may keep some readers busy for a while!

Yanan Dong’s artwork is glorious in colour, composition and detail. Dense foliage abounds in the ‘Forest of Illusion’ but all is not as it seems. Look more closely and leaves and tree trunks take on another form, and eyes stare out from the undergrowth. Another double spread depicts six lifelike dinosaurs and then opens out to reveal their musculature and skeletons – this one just blows me away.

My children (aged 4 and 6) have so much fun with this book (as do I). A particular favourite is the nest full of lift-the-flap dinosaur eggs with all sorts of quirky surprises hidden behind them. Both are always super keen to use the flashlight in the final challenge, which is printed on acetate. The ‘bonus’ spread which reimagines famous artists, such as Magritte, Pollock and Klimt as dinosaurs, and eggs as their works of art is a little lost on them – but what a great way to introduce famous artists and their work to young children!

Dinosaur fans of all ages will love this beautiful book and find new details (and dinosaurs) in it every time they read it. Question is: will they want to ‘pass it on’ when all the challenges have been completed, as requested at the end? We are holding on to our copy!

The Book
Express Delivery from Dinosaur World by Yanan Dong, translated from the Chinese by Helen Wang (Candied Plums, 2017)

The Author/Illustrator
Yanan Dong was born in Handan and grew up in Beijing, China. She created Express Delivery from Dinosaur World while she was studying at the Picture Books Studio at the Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing. It is her first picture book.

The Translator
Helen Wang is a literary translator and British Museum curator. In 2017 she won the Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation for her translation of Bronze and Sunflower by Cao Wenxuan, and the same year was awarded the Chen Bochui International Children’s Literature Award for her special contribution to children’s literature.

For more information about Yanan Dong, her creative process, the inspirations behind her work and forthcoming titles, read this fascinating post on the Chinese Books for Young Readers blog.

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