Children’s Book Review: “Edwina: The Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She was Extinct” by Mo Willems (2006)

Image result for edwina the dinosaur willems bookIn this delightful tale, a skeptical child named Reginald Von Hoobie-Doobie refuses to believe that dinosaurs still exist. In fact, he makes it his mission to convince Edwina, the town’s favorite old-maid dinosaur, that she is not real but rather died a long, long time ago. It doesn’t matter how nice she is or how good her cookies taste: she’s extinct, and Reginald is out to prove it to her.

Mo Willems brings to life these characters with bold colors and Cartoon-Network-like illustrations. Each person (or dinosaur) has his or her own unique personality displayed clearly in their expressions and movements, and children are sure to enjoy the very active nature of the drawings.

Willems also introduces such adult concepts as persuasion and protest, submitting a very clear progression of arguments between both truth and facts and hopes and imagination. While an adult might interpret his conclusion in terms of Relativism, it becomes far more acceptable when that relativism is actually seen as the basis for childlike wonder.

Edwina would be a great book for children ages 5 and up. Teacher or parent discussions with their children could include such things as emotions (i.e. Reginald’s angst and Edwina’s aloofness) or the power of imagination vs. reality (i.e. the townspeople recognize that Edwina’s presence poses a problem with reality, but they don’t really care, because she offers so much fun and enjoyment).

©2016 E.T.

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