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The Picture Book Buzz

Dodos Are Not Extinct - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Oh my gosh, if you're in need of a good chuckle (and face it who isn't these days), check out this awesome book. Paddy Donnelly's created a wonderfully silly, yet educational, look at some of the extinct animals that once roamed the earth. Or do they still?

Dodos Are Not Extinct

Author/Illustrator: Paddy Donnelly

Publisher: Yeehoo Press (2022)

Ages: 4-7

Informational Fiction


Extinct animals, humor, dinosaurs, and disguises.


A hilarious, engaging primer on famous extinct--but never forgotten-- animals that will keep kids giggling and guessing on every page, perfect for fans of Brendan Wenzel's Hello Hello and Mo Willems' Edwina.

Psst! Hey you! Can you keep a secret?

Dodos are NOT extinct!

In fact, if you look extra closely, you might be able to spot other extinct animals . . . like woolly mammoths, saber-toothed tigers, and even dinosaurs! These famous creatures are in disguise everywhere, so keep your eyes peeled! You never know who might be right under your nose.

Author-illustrator Paddy Donnelly delivers a silly, animal-filled read that is perfect for story time sharing at home or for the classroom. Nonfiction back matter jam-packed with facts about the endangered and extinct animals featured in the story makes this creative book as educational as it is fun.

Opening Lines:


Hey you! Can you keep a secret?

Dodos are NOT extinct!

What I LOVED about this book:

This is such a fun book! I love this opening spread; introducing the awesome premise and letting the reader in on a secret with such a conspiratorial and hilarious guide.

© Paddy Donnelly, 2022.

This earnest, though "tongue-in-cheek," narrator proceeds to demonstrate how dodo's have remained incognito. They can look like crows, pigeons, and penguins (they just add a tuxedo). As to why, just imagine the paparazzi uproar if one were to be discovered? I love that the KIDS throughout the book see through the disguises, while the adults... Well, it must be a bit like Santa Claus, where you can see them as a kid, but lose the ability as an adult....they've been masterfully hiding for quite a while after all! 😉

© Paddy Donnelly, 2022.

Our narrator also lets the reader in on a few other secrets - wooly mammoths and saber-toothed tigers are hiding too! As well as the "quagga? Great name, right? Well, their front end looks like a zebra and their back end looks like a horse . . ." Wait until you see how they are disguised! But Paddy doesn't stop there. What about the dinosaurs? I mean what kid wouldn't want to think that dinosaurs (or some of them at least) aren't really extinct, they're just hiding in plain sight. Although as a surgeon...?

© Paddy Donnelly, 2022.

The colorful, digitally created illustrations are hysterical and play so well off the teasing, first-person narration. It is a treat to read and to scour the images. A fun timeline at the back offers a bit more information on the key characters and when and how they became extinct. This a funny, imaginative way to introduce kids to some fascinating extinct animals and maybe encourage their desire to help in preventing this result for other animals on the brink.


- draw your own dodo bird (easy drawing video) and create your own disguise. Or maybe couple of disguises.

- can you think of other animals (extinct or not) or other ways that some of the animals in the book might be hiding in plain sight? Draw these disguises or write a story about your hidden animal.

- in the back matter, read about the animals in the book and how long they've been extinct. Do you know of others? Maybe do some research to see what other animals have gone extinct.

- did you discover or do you know of currently endangered animals? What are some things we can all to help other animals from becoming extinct?

If you missed it, be sure to check out Monday's interview with Paddy Donnelly (here).

This post is part of a series by authors and KidLit bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture book suggestions see Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Books.


Maria Marshall

 Photograph © A. Marshall

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