The Jurassic Park Quiet Book

My favourite baby, H.G., celebrated his first birthday yesterday. While I’m sure that I’ll knit him many things to grow out of in the years to come, I wanted to make him something different for his first birthday and decided on a quiet book. The Star Wars quiet book was very popular a few years ago, but I wanted a film-based book that would entertain him, his parents, and me while I was making it… and thus the Jurassic Park quiet book was born.

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Like most other quiet books, the pages are designed to allow a child to develop a variety of fine motorskills. Unfortunately, I think most of them are probably still beyond a one year-old (oops), but he can always chew on the corner of the book until he’s ready to actually use it properly. Click on any of the images to view them larger.

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Mine the amber! This tracing maze was made with a piece of stiffened felt to ensure the maze portion didn’t get too floppy to actually use. The “amber” is actually made from two buttons; the yellow one is a button I made by embroidering (ish) a mosquito onto some yellow fabric and then used a button covering kit to actually turn it into a button. Small pieces, do not eat, H.G.

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I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that yes, I am aware that Dr Grant does not dig up a stegosaurus at the beginning of the movie. Stegosaurus is the favourite dinosaur of H.G.’s mother, so it became imperative to sneak it in somewhere. The “dig” is simply a snap that keeps the sand flaps down.

Dress Dr Grant was an opportunity to introduce a human element to the book, and little hands love dressing characters up. Things I learned about velcro: when making a book like this, use the soft side as the part that will come into contact with the opposite page, otherwise they’ll stick together. Ask me why I know this.

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While there wasn’t space to write “Complete the gene sequence” on the Mr DNA page, I think that’s pretty self-evident. There are four DNA pieces that you can reassemble in order to complete your dino DNA, and some of the pieces are similar looking enough that it’s actually not that easy!

This page might be a little grotesque for the young ones, but I find it amusing for the adults who might be reading it with baby. Zippers were one of those fine motor activities found in lots of other quiet books I looked at for inspiration, and what better way to use one than to have it serve as the opening of the velociraptor cage? There’s no blood, just like the movie! And, of course, Muldoon says “Clever girl!” at the end of the film, but I had to include it here because, sadly, there is not a page featuring Muldoon and his beautiful man thighs. This might be my favourite page.

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While there was some debate between me and my sister as to whether or not we should be promoting the idea of stealing, I feel that one could use this as a teachable moment about how Nedry’s actions were wrong. The DNA vials are made from coffee stir sticks painted a day-glo yellow and both the container for the vials and the iconic Barbasol can used some clear vinyl to make the little slots where the vinyl goes.

Another somewhat gruesome page for the kids but entertaining for the adults is the T-rex Eats The Lawyer™ page. Literally every time someone sees this page and sees the lawyer they ask, “Is he on a toilet?!” Yes, yes he is. T-rex’s jaw is hinged to move up and down; a grommet in the jaw with a button sewn on top was enough to create the movement. I was also super lucky to find this lizard skin felt at Michael’s.

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“Must go faster” is one of mine and H.G.’s mother’s favourite quotes from the movie, so the book would have been incomplete without a page dedicated to this. The little jeep and the T-rex are both attached to lengths of black elastic that allow them to move across the page so that the T-rex can chase the car. If I had the dexterity to make something so tiny, I would have added a tiny Ian Malcolm to the jeep.

Counting / matching exercises are also a frequently featured activity in quiet books, and I liked the idea of creating something where H.G. would have to match the number of eggs in a bunch with a number on a nest. As we all know, dinosaur breeding in Jurassic Park is strictly controlled, but life finds a way.

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Yet another slightly awful page! I’m not entirely sure that it’s an oven that Lex has to hide in while escaping raptors in the kitchen, but it has been one in my imagination for twenty years, so, yes, this is “Put the teenager in the oven!” She gets her redemption on the next page, which is a memory matching game a.k.a. I KNOW THIS, IT’S A UNIX SYSTEM!!!

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Finally, we have the escape from the Visitors Centre. The front doors open to reveal two finger puppets of Drs Grant and Sattler.

All in all, I’m pretty satisfied with how this turned out. I might do the binding differently if I ever make another one, but considering how long this took to make — I started at the end of February and finished maybe a week ago — I’m not sure I ever would make another one!