Playing by the book

Reviews of kids' books and the crazy, fun stuff they inspire us to do

A recipe for…. well, not what I was expecting!

Posted on | May 27, 2013 | 7 Comments

(1) Take:

  • Five mini dinosaurs
  • Seven riotous adventures
  • A least one snot monster
  • A rather large pile of coprolite-to-be


  • (2) Mix well in the hands of comic creator extraordinaire, Gary Northfield.

    (3) Find a comfy place to read, where you can giggle and groan to your heart’s delight.

    You are now perfectly poised to enjoy the new and very funny comic strip book The Terrible Tales of the Teenytinysaurs!

    teenytinysaurs_frontcoverThis series of tall tales about a loveable gang of dino kids and the mishaps that befall them as they get up to mischief together is one of our funniest family reads this year.

    Whether bonkers Thomas, cool-headed Dave or feisty Natasha is your favourite, I can pretty much guarantee you’ll find a lot to love in Northfield’s The Terrible Tales of the Teenytinysaurs!.

    Told with terrific pace, these tales will entice in even the most reluctant of readers. Northfield’s illustrations – instantly recognisable to fans of Gary’s Garden in the marvellous Phoenix comic – are delightful, and his full page spreads, whether showing a maze of dinosaur intestines or a host of bioluminescent monsters at the bottom of the sea are deliciously detailed and packed with funny cameos.

    Prehistoric life doesn’t get funnier than this!

    M and J enjoyed the book so much (it also worked well for us as a read aloud) that I thought I’d treat them to a Teenytinysaurs afternoon tea at the start of the school holidays this week. I prepared dino snot (Angel delight, made with less milk than normal to really thicken it up, and then dyed green with food colouring), dino poo (chocolate mousse), and most excitingly (from my point of view) a moon cake, which was indeed fruity and sparkly, being made from lemon sponge covered in white chocolate mixed with popping candy, as per the description in The Terrible Tales of the Teenytinysaurs!.

    The perfect excuse to play with popping candy

    The perfect excuse to play with popping candy

    What a nice plan.

    But then the girls got back from school and my bubble was burst. They didn’t want to eat the food I’d lovingly prepared (remember how M reacted when I made her edible eyeballs out of icecream?), but M did want to make a film of her favourite bits in Northfield’s book.

    Even though I was initially totally daunted by the idea, I couldn’t help but admire M’s way of thinking – comic strips do, after all, lend themselves very naturally to animation. Director M had VERY clear ideas about how it was to look, and almost before I could clear the table of mousse and cake, a prehistoric landscape had been installed.

    settingupfilm

    The camera was set up, the lights went on, and M settled down very happily to giving me lots of instructions whilst she turned her vision into reality.

    And I have to admit. She did a pretty good job. With a bit of technical help from M’s dad, may I now present to you M’s directorial debut, a homage to Gary Northfield’s The Terrible Tales of the Teenytinysaurs!.

    As you can see, she made much better use of the snot and the poo than simply eating them! But I’m pleased to report that at the end of an exhausting afternoon filming we did eat the moon, and it was indeed fruity and sparkly :-)

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    Comments

    7 Responses to “A recipe for…. well, not what I was expecting!”

    1. Damyanti
      May 27th, 2013 @ 7:12 am

      Impressive directorial debut, I imagine it was hard work but lots of fun
      Damyanti recently posted..The Diggers Are Coming! By Susan Steggall

    2. Zoe
      May 27th, 2013 @ 8:45 am

      Hi Damyanti, M got the idea of moving things little bit by little bit very quickly, and she adored taking all the picture (mostly on a tripod) and pointing at me and telling me what to do. Technically there was a brief challenge for M’s dad as we had to learn how to quickly rename 1000 photos, but once that was cracked, the open source film editing software we used – Open Shot – was really easy to use – drop and drag a lot of the time, and M was able to do a lot of that too. She loved chosing the music too. Definitely an involved activity, but we all had a great time and learned something to boot.
      Zoe recently posted..A recipe for…. well, not what I was expecting!

    3. Catherine
      May 27th, 2013 @ 8:52 am

      It is great when children take the initiative and come up with something completely different to what you were expecting :) I loved the film and am glad that your green snot wasn’t wasted!
      Catherine recently posted..Dog Loves Drawing by Louise Yates

    4. Zoe
      May 27th, 2013 @ 9:09 am

      Thanks Catherine. It can be a challenge to respond gracefully and enthusiastically when the kids want to do something completely different, that’s for sure :-) But yes the snot didn’t go to waste ;-)
      Zoe recently posted..A recipe for…. well, not what I was expecting!

    5. MotherGeek
      May 27th, 2013 @ 9:17 pm

      wow! this looks like one heck of a task! Well worth the effort though – brilliant video!
      MotherGeek recently posted..blogging at 3am

    6. Teenytinysaurs and beyond… | Stupidmonsters
      June 24th, 2013 @ 6:58 pm

      [...] dare you), then check out these cracking reviews from Philip Reeve, Forbidden Planet, Page 45 and Playing By The Book (including mindblowing home-made video!).  I also did a little interview about the book with [...]

    7. Teenytinysaurs
      July 23rd, 2013 @ 4:22 pm

      [...] dare you), then check out these cracking reviews from Philip Reeve, Forbidden Planet, Page 45 and Playing By The Book (including mindblowing home-made video!). I also did a little interview about the book with fellow [...]

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