I’m a Dirty Dinosaur
27 March 2020

I’m a Dirty Dinosaur

This cheeky creature starts with a dirty snout, then a dirty face and progresses to a dirty tum.

It sniffs and snuffs, stomps and shakes, and slides and splashes into mud, gradually getting dirtier and dirtier.

If you’re familiar with children’s picture books you’ll of course know this is the dinosaur from I’m a Dirty Dinosaur.

This much-loved character is the newest edition at the Storybook Walk in Thalassa Park.

I’m a Dirty Dinosaur is a fun picture book written by award-winning South Australian author Janeen Brian and illustrated by Ann James. Featuring catchy rhymes and playful illustrations created with a magic pencil and real mud, the story follows the playful antics of a dinosaur who loves getting dirty.

Artist Sally Wickes has brought the Dirty Dinosaur to life using steel plate and colourful reclaimed reinforcing bars which have been layered to mimic the sketched lines in the book’s illustrations.

The 2.4-metre-long dinosaur can be seen splashing around in mud and puddles made from recycled car tyres.

“I was keen to keep the spirit of Ann James’s lively illustrations and using reclaimed and historic reinforcing bar from building rubble provided a way to draw the Dirty Dinosaur in three dimensions,” explains Sally.

“In the process really interesting and scaly textures were discovered.”

Children and families can sit alongside the dinosaur and read the much-loved book. The dinosaur has also been created to be interactive and just like in the book, you can tap, tap, tap the tum like a drum.

“Cut-outs in the dinosaur’s belly create a rustic tongue drum to be tapped with sticks found in the park,” says Sally.

“Musical talents can be explored by all ages and it’s an interactive element that welcomes visitors with vision impairment.

“I really appreciated being entrusted to bring this upbeat and innocent character from the book pages into the park. Much care and thought went into the materials and how this playful dinosaur could in turn be played with and enjoyed.”

Storybook Walk celebrates Australian writers, poets and their works and connects children with their favourite characters.

Every two years the Thalassa Parks and Gardens Trust and the City of Onkaparinga commission a new artwork.

I’m a Dirty Dinosaur brings the total number of artworks to 15.

City of Onkaparinga Mayor Erin Thompson said the sculptures in Storybook Walk celebrate Australian writers and illustrators and are a way to remember and encourage sharing stories.

“One of the values of our Storybook Walk is how it encourages conversation. It’s unlikely that today’s kindergarten children are familiar with Colin Thiele’s Stormboy [which also features at Storybook Walk], but their grandparents and parents most likely are,” says Mayor Thompson.

You can borrow I’m a Dirty Dinosaur from an Onkaparinga Library.

Thalassa Park is located on Windebanks Road, Aberfoyle Park.

*Note: To protect the health of our community and help reduce the spread of COVID-19, please adhere to the government’s restrictions and recommendations. Please continue to practise social distancing and do not congregate in groups.

I'm A Dirty Dinosaur!

Meet Storybook Walk's newest resident.

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