A slapdash dino tale guaranteed to please some and infuriate others.
When a boy and his faithful dog, both bow-tie bedecked, receive an invitation to a dinosaur soiree, they don’t hesitate a jot (not even to make a close reading of the invitation that hints that they’re slated to appear on the menu). Indeed, the boy has a marvelous time until it becomes clear to him that the T. Rex sees him as munchable. After grabbing a gift bag and making a quick escape, the boy and pup finally feel safe—only to find that his party favor contains a surprise of the terrible-lizard variety. Jones misses multiple opportunities to name different dino types; he could easily exchange “Compsognathus” for “the little one,” for instance. Illustrator Parsons is equally culpable of slipshod craft, slipping in a wooly mammoth (which any canny 5-year-old will be quick to declare is not a dinosaur, nor even of the same era) and a Stegosaurus with the neck of an Apatosaurus. Given the missteps, it’s hard to say whether the “Chef Alfonsaurus” working the grill is a joke or a misspelled Allosaurus.
Though the concept has plenty of promise, this is one title that deserves a quick extinction from your shelves. (Picture book. 4-6)