Max Spaniel: Dinosaur Hunt

Common Sense Media says

Sweet dog takes kids on imaginative adventure.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Max has great fun with his imagination.

Positive role models

Max revels in making his own fun.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this easy reader showcases the joys of an active imagination. There’s nothing to concern parents.

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What's the story?

Max Spaniel isn’t a dog -- he’s an intrepid dinosaur hunter! Never mind that there’s not a fossil in sight. Max happily turns everyday items in his back yard into an impressive replica.

Is it any good?


This delightful picture book is perfect for kids just beginning to read. The simple, minimal text sets up the punch line in the full-page illustrations of Max on his quest. Goofy Max is laugh-out-loud funny as he tries to lug a bag of supplies -- including bologna and a bowling ball -- outside, scours the yard for dinosaur parts, and beams with shiny-eyed happiness at his finished creation. His enthusiasm is infectious, and may very well encourage readers to head outside in search of adventure.

This is the first book illustrator David Catrow has also written, and it promises to be the start of a new series featuring Max Spaniel.

This endearing dog comes alive in the energetic, affectionate artwork.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about using your imagination. Look

  • for shapes in the world around you. Just as Max sees a rake as dinosaur teeth

  • and a fire truck as a knee, what does your imagination see? Go on a dinosaur

  • hunt of your own and see what you can create.

  • Max’s dinosaur is essential a sculpture. Look for artwork and sculptures made out of unconventional materials and talk about what you see.

Book details

Author:David Catrow
Genre:For Beginning Readers
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Orchard Books
Publication date:August 1, 2009
Number of pages:40
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 8
Read aloud:3
Read alone:5

This review of Max Spaniel: Dinosaur Hunt 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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