When a stegothesaurus meets an allothesaurus, the results can be dicey, hazardous, problematical.
Unlike his mostly monosyllabic kin, Stegothesaurus relishes words as well as shrubbery—not just “Yummy,” but “Savory, succulent, scrumptious.” So it is that when a predator attacks he can’t gallop off until he comes up with a suitable “F-f-f-frightening, formidable, fearsome.” To his amazement, his toothy adversary responds, “Hulking, hefty, humongous.” Yes, she’s not a common allosaurus but an “allothesaurus” and seemingly a kindred soul. In the very simply drawn cartoon scenes, McBeth pins bow ties on the prehistoric pedants (the allothesaurus has dainty eyelashes) and sends them off together on an orgy of synonymizing. It looks like the beginning of a beautiful, lovely, resplendent friendship…until Stegothesaurus asks how Allothesaurus learned so many words and she admits that it must have been that other stegothesaurus she ate. Uh-oh. It’s a good time, moment, instant to “Ruuuuuuuuuuuuun!” Happily, Heos lets her wordy, prolix, logorrheic dino survive to munch another day.
The premise may not be exactly new (see, for instance, Laya Steinberg’s Thesaurus Rex, illustrated by Debbie Harter, 2003), but exercises in clever wordplay are always fresh, animated, enlivening. (Picture book. 6-8)