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by Jill Kastner & illustrated by Jill Kastner

Age Range: 2 - 6

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-06-000471-1
Publisher: Greenwillow

She’s back! The spunky, resourceful toy dinosaur that Kastner introduced in Princess Dinosaur (2001) returns for a creative Christmastime adventure with her fellow toy friends. The episodic plot follows the neon-green, red-skirted princess as she eats Santa’s snack, tangles with the household watchdog, climbs up on the roof, falls down the chimney, and hides in the Christmas tree. The strong narrative voice comments on Princess Dinosaur’s boisterous actions in present tense as they unfold, giving a cinematic effect accented by the oversized format and an active sense of motion. Kastner’s watercolor and pen-and-ink illustrations are exuberant and joyful, just like her heroine. The artist finds opportunities for dramatic, memorable spreads, as when Princess Dinosaur stamps out a message to Santa in the snow (“Dear Santa, I’m down here!”) or when she pops out of a pile of brightly wrapped presents with a huge, toothy grin to welcome Christmas morning. The satisfying conclusion shows Princess Dinosaur hugging her present from Santa, a green dinosaur doll. (“Just what she’s always wanted!”) In a crowded field of dinosaur stories full of little boys and male dinosaurs, three cheers for Kastner for creating a charismatic female character that little girl dinosaur devotees can cherish. Long live the princessaurus. (Picture book. 2-6)