Picture Book Review: The Hidden Triceratops

The Hidden Triceratops by Richard  Bevan

The Hidden Triceratops
by Richard Bevan (Goodreads Author), Io Shepard (Illustrations)
2 out of 5 stars

This book is about two smaller dinosaurs, a triceratops and pterodactyl, who become friends. They help each other to find food, and they trick a T-rex and escape from him.

I think the backstory of this book is really sweet. The author and his little neighbor teamed up to write the story and do the illustrations. As a friendly collaboration, it’s adorable. As a published book, it has a serious marketing problem.

Based on the illustrations and cover, I got this book to share with my 3 year old nephew. However, it is much too text-heavy for a young child. The amount of text would be more appropriate for an 8-10 year old reader, but the subject material is too condescending for that age group. The tone of the story is more suited to young readers, and the illustrations are for young readers, but there is way too much text on the page for a young reader.

“They sound as if something LARGE is moving through the jungle. What do you think might be making those sounds? Birds? People? Animals? Did someone say dinosaurs? I think you might have peeked ahead, but you are correct.”

This sounds like a narrator addressing a very young child.

I don’t know who this book is for. What is the target age range? It seems entirely unsuited to any age range. Older readers would not like the babyish illustrations or the childish tone, but younger readers would be unable to follow the lengthy narration.

We don’t even meet the “main characters” until Chapter Three. Yes, this picture book has chapters. So is it a chapter book for children who are learning to read on their own, or is it a toddler book for little kids who like babyish illustrations?

It doesn’t fit anywhere, and I don’t know who will read it. I certainly can’t share it with my rambunctious toddler nephew.

If only the current text had more sophisticated art, or if only the current art had a simpler text, it would be a delightful story.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.

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