Thursday, February 27, 2014

Book Box Thursday + Giveaway: Rainbow Bear's Dinosaur Discovery

Last year, you might have come across our review and giveaway of Julia Gabriel's An Alphabet Zoo phonics books, or even read her interview on visual literacy. Today, we continue with our sharing of awesome phonics books, by reviewing another of her creations - Rainbow Bear's Dinosaur Discovery: An Adventure in Blends and Digraphs.

Julia Dinosaur Alphabet

As the title suggests, the book is a continuation of An Alphabet Zoo. A book two, if you will. This book, CD and songbook set tracks a new journey in Rainbow Bear's alphabet adventure. This time, he meets with dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes, which have strange names that coincidentally start with blends and digraphs, such as Flora Flaparaptor and Theo Thecocoelurus. 

So what are blends and digraphs, you ask? A blend, also known as a consonant blends, is when two or more consonants are blended together and each sound can be heard distinctly, such as cr, dr, fr sl and st. A digraph, also known as consonant digraph, is when two or more consonants come together to make a single sound, such as ch, wh and sh.

Dinosaur Discovery deals with 24 of these blends and digraphs, specifically two-letter ones. I like the way how the construction of the blends and digraphs are worked into the songs' lyrics. For example. The blend 'SL'. The lyrics goes like this: 'S and L make sl sl Slippy Sliporaptor', while for the digraph 'WH', the lyrics goes 'W and H make wh wh Whoopee Whalonodon'. The formation of the blends and digraphs are explained and sounded out, in addition to a catchy name, all accomplished in a few words. We found out that the musical brains behind the tunes is Matt Grey, who was also responsible for the music in An Alphabet Zoo. Ahh.. that explains why the music in this version worked for EV and AA.

Like in An Alphabet Zoo, each dinosaur character has its own dedicated page and illustration in Dinosaur Discovery, both of which is illustrated by Kathy Creamer, a published British children’s book author and illustrator. In this way, even though it was a new book, it was easy to introduce it to EV and AA, since they are so familiar with the format and drawing style. One difference is the tongue twisters for each character, such as 'Plato Platyceratops plays with plump plums'. Even adults will have fun trying to say these amusing twisters, making it so much more fun to read together as a family.

What makes this book even more interesting is the Dinosaur Fact Page at the end, where characteristics of each dinosaur are listed. Now before you think that some of the dinosaurs, like Chindesaurus, Fruitadens and Smilodon, are figments of the creators' imagination, let me assure you that these three dinosaurs I have named were real. Their names may sound quirky and funny, but they did exist, millions and millions of years ago, according to the online search that I did. There are imaginary dinosaurs in Dinosaur Discovery though, like Snidopteryx and Swotodon, and the fact page identifies them as exactly that.

Rainbow Bear's Dinosaur Discovery: An Adventure in Blends and Digraphs retails at $29.95. You can also dramatise the fun, catchy tunes with the Rainbow Bear hand puppet, that is sold separately at $32.05.

Here’s your chance to win a copy of Rainbow Bear's Dinosaur Discovery: An Adventure in Blends and Digraphs. There are five copies to be given away, sponsored by Julia Gabriel Education. Just follow the intructions below to enter. Good luck!

Terms and conditions:
- Entries that do not fulfill the requirements stated will be disqualified without notice.
- Winners will be notified by email, through the email address provided in the Rafflecopter widget.
- Winners must confirm by reply email, within three days. Otherwise, a new winner will be picked.
- This giveaway is open to Singapore residents only.
- No repeat winners will be allowed.
- Giveaway starts on 27 February and ends on 13 March (inclusive) at midnight.
- Winners will be announced on this post and my Facebook page by 19 March.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: This review was done with our own copy of Rainbow Bear's Dinosaur Discovery: An Adventure in Blends and Digraphs. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are my own.


Thank you for reading. If you like this post, please do connect with me on FacebookInstagram and Twitter, so I can share our fun adventures, thoughts and exploits with you. 


  1. My son loves books on dinosaurs.

  2. I like that this book is introducing the blends and digraphs. Which I know nuts about! It comes in a cd which is very good!

  3. My son loves dinosaurs and to pick up phonics with his favourite creatures would simply be divine!

  4. can use it to introduce dinosaurs to my child while singing the songs


  5. Thank you for hosting the giveaway--alisa

  6. Great way to introduce phonics to my child. Thank you for hosting the giveaway--alisa

  7. Love to win the book for my daughter. Thank you for the giveaway.

  8. I like that it is an interesting way to teach phonics, plus its on dinos, which my boys love!

    Jus, makingmum(at)gmail(dot)com

  9. just in time for me to teach my child blends and digraphs.

  10. It makes learning of blends and digraphs accessible and fun for young children.

  11. My boy loves dinosaurs. This book will surely engage him alot

  12. I like the use of phonics blendings to reinforce their learning.

  13. Love how learning is made fun without boring drills.

  14. My dinosaur-crazy son is starting to learn phonics now. This book kill 2 'pterosaurs' with 1 stone!

  15. I like the blends being construct into songs lyrics. It will be fun and interesting way for kids to learn.

  16. My kids like dinosaurs and songs are great way to teach phonics



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