Following series opener Rappy the Raptor (2015), Gutman and Bowers team up again to bring readers another chapter in Rappy’s life story: the first day of school.
The rapping dino is definitely nervous on the first day—about school supplies, about making friends, about whether the teacher will be kind or not. But despite nervousness (and the huge and terrifying-looking—in Rappy’s eyes—teacher), the rapping dino manages to use that talent to distract both a bully, Chris, and his victim, Aidan. But rapping won’t help Rappy to spell, and that’s the first lesson of the day. But luckily, Aidan comes to the rescue with some whispered letters, and suddenly Rappy can spell some words. It’s the start of a new friendship for them both. And Chris? Mrs. H. “said we shouldn’t make fun of others, / and if we did she’d tell our mothers. / Being a bully isn’t cool, / so she made Chris stay after school!” Gutman’s slight tale is quite similar to the first—right down to the very similar refrains—and the resolution is too pat to be believable. Still, it’s fun for a read-aloud (practice the rhythms first), and the bullying message goes down easily. Bowers’ digital dinos are full of personality, and readers will enjoy seeing the friendship between Rappy and Aidan develop.
Fans of rap and dinos will enjoy this; others may want something with more story. (Picture book. 4-8)