Will loud roars, acting out and snatching toys away from younger sibs lead to friendly playtimes and happy parents, or being ejected from the house and shunned by the neighborhood? Take a wild guess.
Stripped down to a few flat phrases—“Dinosaurs never say, ‘Thank you.’ They just say, MUCKUS, BRUCKUS!”—matched to washy watercolor images, a lad switches back and forth between obnoxious human and garish red dinosaur throughout the day. He scatters his playmates, angers his mother and startles the neighbors in boisterous dinosaur mode. Punishment ensues. In an abrupt and thoroughly unconvincing turnaround, he discovers that responding politely to a group of peers’ oh-so-realistic “Hi! May we please play with you?” brings instant acceptance and that allowing little sister to join in will draw a smile from Mom. This clumsy exercise in parental wishful thinking looks and reads like a pastiche of Bob Shea’s Dinosaur Vs. series, Where the Wild Things Are and Calvin and Hobbes, and it is more apt to result in dismissive snickers than socialization.
Straight didacticism, uninspired by its obvious influences and too thin to provide more than a pretense of concealment for its agenda. (Picture book. 3-6)