Even when he’s just imaginary, a T. Rex can be a big help when dealing with a bully.
Only Kole can see him, but the hulking, green, mean-looking holdover from the special Dinosaur Pancakes (2016) that Nana made pops up on the school bus, in the bath, in bed, even in church. Annoying! But when, one day, a big new kid named Leon comes on aggressively in the hallway, the toothy dino does his thing—handing Kole one of Nana’s apples, that is, and nodding at Kole “as if to say, ‘It will be OK. Just talk to him.’ ” One friendly greeting and an invitation to come over later for some green dinosaur pancakes, and the bully is transformed into at least a potential friend. Easy! “A bully sets out each day to hurt other people,” Pigott concludes with drastic oversimplification, going on to add contradictory advice to seek help, to tell a grown-up, or to face bullies down directly, try to make friends with them, and inform them that “they don’t need to be mean to be cool.” Kole and Leon are both white in Sibley’s expressive, if garishly colored, cartoon illustrations, but figures in group scenes show some racial and ethnic diversity.
Heavy on agenda, light on psychological insight. (Picture book. 6-8)