Picture Book Reviews · Picture Books

Review: The Dinosaur Department Store by Lily Murray and Richard Merritt

Review: The Dinosaur Department Store by Lily Murray and Richard Merritt


Eliza Jane has been given plenty of labels. Wilful. Wild. It comes as no surprise to her parents when, on Eliza Jane’s fourth birthday, she asks for a dinosaur as a pet. Off they go to the Dinosaur Department Store where Mr Magisaurus gives them a tour. 

A vibrant, lively story filled with humour and action. 

img_8515It must be the dream of many small children to own a real dinosaur. Dinosaurs are staples with under eights. They are on television programmes and in films. Toys and video games. They are on clothes and stationery and in wonderful stories like The Dinosaur Department Store. Whether the reader is interested in the history and science of dinosaurs, or simply in the characters, they will enjoy this one. It is the ultimate in wish fulfillment. 

Like Eliza Jane, the dinosaurs in this story are filled with energy. They swish their tails and crunch bones and make spectacular noises. Eliza Jane is filled with empathy for the dinosaurs stuck in their cages … and so she comes up with a plan. I love how tiny she looks beside the dinosaurs. It makes it more difficult to notice what she is up to. Readers are encouraged to look elsewhere and will be excited to see that there is more going on than the words let on. 

The illustrations are a riot of colour and pattern, balanced out with gentle green fronds and the white wallpaper of the department store. The reader feels up close to the dinosaurs and I just love how much we read about Mr Magisaurus’s smug personality from his face. 

A real treasure which will go down will with dinosaur lovers and makers of mischief. This will raise laugher and excitement and would make a wonderful bedtime read. 


Thanks to Buster Books for my gifted copy of The Dinosaur Department Store. Opinions remain my own.

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