Though his practical sister, Emily, is ready for kindergarten, Arnold, aka Super Saurus, isn’t too sure, so he’s making plans now to escape, superhero-fashion, from all the imagined perils he will face.
These include Zorgo the Evil Genius as his teacher and Zorgo’s pet T. rex, Krok, who eats kids. But with the young, green dinosaur’s planning and packing, which includes his superhero cape and mask, he is sure to succeed in evading them both. Young’s acrylic-and–colored-pencil illustrations marvelously cut between real and imagined scenes as Super Saurus enacts his plans: using his Scuba Suit to escape the sub (car) that holds him prisoner and, when that fails, donning Sticky Shoes to climb a skyscraper (the play structure). But his dad is too quick for him, and before he knows it, he is face to face with Zorgo (Mr. Z., his new teacher, depicted as a bipedal, crested sauropod with a comically long neck). The tongue-in-cheek adventures continue throughout the day as Super Saurus, with Emily’s help, uses his skills to save the class from Krok (a tiny lizard). Since it’s obvious that kindergarten needs him, Super Saurus says he’ll be back the next day…and Mr. Z. can call him Arnold. Young cleverly makes Arnold’s imaginative adventures kid-doable: the Sticky Shoes are smeared with peanut butter, and the Rescue Rocket is a decorated box.
Imagination as a coping mechanism equals lots of superpowered fun. (Picture book. 4-8)