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Dinosaur Pak & Stak Review by Donna Campos

Master Books in association with Answers in Genesis
PO Box 726
Green Forest, AR 72638

Dinosaur Pak & Stak is a combination toy that includes a set of five nesting blocks and five small board books that all fit together in a handy box. The carrying case is divided for the two different sets and includes ribbon pulls for each compartment to aid in removal of the items without having to pry them from the container. The five nesting blocks are entirely decorated on the exterior with dinosaur scenes from the five included books. When pieced together correctly, the five blocks form five different puzzles that coincide with the five dinosaur books. The answer for each puzzle design is found on the back of the corresponding book. Each book is a sturdy board book of five pages. Titles include Tyrannosaurus Rex, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, Leviathan, and Pteranodon. The entire set fits neatly into the box, which has a magnetic closure. A rope handle with metal grommet holes allows for easy carrying.

This little set offers a great deal of information. A "fact box" on the first page of each book provides the basic size, diet, and location of each dinosaur. The Leviathan is presented as the Kronosaurus, and a brief explanation of its biblical reference is included. The text compares size and weight to items children will readily recognize and understand. Memorable points include that Stegosaurus was the size of a school bus and the head of Tyrannosaurus Rex was almost the size of a grown woman. The included information offers just enough to entice a child to learn more about each dinosaur. All pieces of the set are brightly colored and fantastically detailed. The puzzle value is great as these are not simple two-dimensional puzzles. As an adult, I had to look at the answers represented on the back of each book in order to complete the pictures, but it was well worth the effort as a child manipulates the boxes into place.

This is a very well done set--an excellent combination of educational books and a three-dimensional puzzle activity that includes the added (and hard to find) benefit of a creation presentation of dinosaurs. The $11 price is very reasonable for the learning value provided. We found the set completely enjoyable, and the little thoughtful inclusions--ribbon pulls, rope handle, and magnetic closure--made me think this must have been designed by a parent who wanted to cover every base of convenience!

Our children treat their toys with care, so I feel sure that this toy will hold up well for us. However, rough play might cause the glossy paper wrapped around the blocks to come apart. The board books will be enjoyed by toddler hands, but I would save the nesting blocks for a preschool age group. The set is ideal for the four to eight age range. Families who do not believe dinosaurs lived alongside Adam and Eve or within the garden of Eden will not agree with the presentations in these books, but biblical references are offered and will be appreciated by those presenting such facts to their children.

Dinosaur Pak & Stak is a wonderful item that offers a biblical presentation of dinosaurs to young children. Incredible design reveals great thought and planning, and the low price makes this a purchase no family should pass up. Dinosaur Pak & Stak should be discovered by every family.

Product review by Donna Campos, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November 2007