Jacob Two-Two and the Dinosaur

Common Sense Media says

Dino-mite satire is a quick, funny tween read.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Bad guy Professor Kilowatt makes a racist comment in regards to country club applicants. Over-the-top evil deeds and bad attitudes abound, but good wins out in the end.


Jacob's dinosaur is threatened with bombs.

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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
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Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the villains in this book are ridiculously bad authority figures. Over-the-top evil deeds and bad attitudes abound, but good wins out in the end. The broad satire is funny, but the cynicism is what skews the age recommendation to 9. Younger kids will probably enjoy the lighter tone of the animated TV show based on the book series.

Parents say

Kids say

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What's the story?

Jacob Two-Two and his pet dinosaur, Dippy, are on the run after Canadian government officials declare Dippy a public menace and decide to bomb him.

Is it any good?


Jacob Two-Two was a literary hero long before he became an animated TV show. Jacob is a likeable protagonist, and many children will identify with his trials as the youngest in a large family. But these bad guys wouldn't be out of place in a Roald Dahl novel. Some parents may be bothered by a country club president who says, "[W]e have to come to accept a few members who are black or Italian or Jewish or Greek, so long as they are also filthy rich."

The broad satire is funny, but the cynicism is what skews the age recommendation to 9 for this easy-to-read chapter book. It's also more intense and darkly funny than in the friendly, sibling rivalry-focused animated series. This is a satisfyingly quick read -- chapters are usually only two or three pages, and the action moves the plot along at a lively pace. This is a good pick for an otherwise reluctant reader.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the bad guys' motivations. Jacob's enemies aren't always honest about why they want to do things, but it's easy to see their true intentions. Parents can look up the legend of Saint George and the dragon and then discuss why the prime minister wanted to emulate it. They can also ask why the Yes Men and Yes Women always say yes.

Book details

Author:Mordecai Richler
Illustrator:Norman Eyolfson
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Random House
Publication date:March 23, 2004
Number of pages:96
Read aloud:9
Read alone:10

This review of Jacob Two-Two and the Dinosaur was written by

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About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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