Have cookie dough and frosting ready, as kids are sure to want to try their own hands at decorating after a few laugh-filled...

COOKIESAURUS REX

A dinosaur-shaped cookie takes matters—and frosting—into his own doughy hands.

The dino comes out of the oven full of himself, claiming to be “Cookiesaurus Rex, the King of All Cookies.” While he likes the green frosting the hand of his white baker squirts on him, he becomes disgruntled at the sight of the other cookies’ decorations, which include sprinkles, shiny stars, and gumdrops. He demands a “do over.” But the baker isn’t too fond of Rex’s imperiousness, issuing commands with nary a “please.” The hand uses bright pink frosting to turn Rex into a ballerina. The dino scrapes it off with a spatula, but the tantrum prompts the hand to turn him into a diapered baby, complete with a chocolate-chip trail of poop. That’s it! Let the battle begin! Rex is a superhero, a duck (“Ha-ha. I’m quacking up”), a ninja, a clown. But when Rex fashions himself into a king to beat all Mardi Gras kings, readers see a bit more of the creator than just a hand. The other cookies can’t help but smirk: “He took a licking.” Ford’s bright and funny illustrations perfectly complement Dominy and Evans’ tongue-in-cheek text. The cheeky dino is full of personality and spunk, and his facial expressions are priceless, inevitably recalling Daffy’s in the classic cartoon “Duck Amuck.”

Have cookie dough and frosting ready, as kids are sure to want to try their own hands at decorating after a few laugh-filled rereads. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4847-6744-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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Still, this young boy’s imagination is a powerful force for helping him deal with life, something that should be true for...

OLIVER AND HIS EGG

Oliver, of first-day-of-school alligator fame, is back, imagining adventures and still struggling to find balance between introversion and extroversion.

“When Oliver found his egg…” on the playground, mint-green backgrounds signifying Oliver’s flight into fancy slowly grow larger until they take up entire spreads; Oliver’s creature, white and dinosaurlike with orange polka dots, grows larger with them. Their adventures include sharing treats, sailing the seas and going into outer space. A classmate’s yell brings him back to reality, where readers see him sitting on top of a rock. Even considering Schmid’s scribbly style, readers can almost see the wheels turning in his head as he ponders the girl and whether or not to give up his solitary play. “But when Oliver found his rock… // Oliver imagined many adventures // with all his friends!” This last is on a double gatefold that opens to show the children enjoying the creature’s slippery curves. A final wordless spread depicts all the children sitting on rocks, expressions gleeful, wondering, waiting, hopeful. The illustrations, done in pastel pencil and digital color, again make masterful use of white space and page turns, although this tale is not nearly as funny or tongue-in-cheek as Oliver and His Alligator (2013), nor is its message as clear and immediately accessible to children.

Still, this young boy’s imagination is a powerful force for helping him deal with life, something that should be true for all children but sadly isn’t. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: July 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-7573-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2014

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Wins for compassion and for the refusal to let physical limitations hold one back.

TINY T. REX AND THE IMPOSSIBLE HUG

With such short arms, how can Tiny T. Rex give a sad friend a hug?

Fleck goes for cute in the simple, minimally detailed illustrations, drawing the diminutive theropod with a chubby turquoise body and little nubs for limbs under a massive, squared-off head. Impelled by the sight of stegosaurian buddy Pointy looking glum, little Tiny sets out to attempt the seemingly impossible, a comforting hug. Having made the rounds seeking advice—the dino’s pea-green dad recommends math; purple, New Age aunt offers cucumber juice (“That is disgusting”); red mom tells him that it’s OK not to be able to hug (“You are tiny, but your heart is big!”), and blue and yellow older sibs suggest practice—Tiny takes up the last as the most immediately useful notion. Unfortunately, the “tree” the little reptile tries to hug turns out to be a pterodactyl’s leg. “Now I am falling,” Tiny notes in the consistently self-referential narrative. “I should not have let go.” Fortunately, Tiny lands on Pointy’s head, and the proclamation that though Rexes’ hugs may be tiny, “I will do my very best because you are my very best friend” proves just the mood-lightening ticket. “Thank you, Tiny. That was the biggest hug ever.” Young audiences always find the “clueless grown-ups” trope a knee-slapper, the overall tone never turns preachy, and Tiny’s instinctive kindness definitely puts him at (gentle) odds with the dinky dino star of Bob Shea’s Dinosaur Vs. series.

Wins for compassion and for the refusal to let physical limitations hold one back. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4521-7033-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

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