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BOO’S SURPRISE by Betsy Byars

BOO’S SURPRISE

By Betsy Byars (Author) , Erik Brooks (Illustrator)

Age Range: 5 - 9

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8050-8817-5
Publisher: Henry Holt

Boo’s imagination continues full force in this gentle sequel to Boo’s Dinosaur (2006). Boo styles herself the “luckiest girl in the world” when she discovers a spotted egg hatching in her yard. She and her dinosaur develop a rich friendship, jumping rope, playing hopscotch and pretending to be cowboys together. Her upbeat voice depicts her supportive friendship with her playmate: “He has wings. He just doesn’t know how to use them yet.” With her magic cape held tight, Boo teaches him how to fly, and he soars away, leaving behind a memento for Boo and her older brother to share. Convincing family relationships enhance Boo’s experiences; child-centered dialogue abets the taut pacing. Engaging double-page drawings extend the text with humor and warmth. Brooks’s illustrations vary shading to depict the fully realized characters. The dinosaur’s dynamic expressions provide a warm immediacy to the engaging plot, and Boo’s bouncy pigtails convey her youthful exuberance. The successful balance between fantasy and realism creates a satisfying chapter-book selection. (Fantasy. 5-9)