Readers will delight in this latest dino pets installment and wonder where the dinosaurs might go for their next calamitous...

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DINO PETS GO TO SCHOOL

The little boy from Dino Pets (2007) finally gets to show his menagerie off to his class, but will school ever be the same again?

Plourde’s playful verse follows the little boy as he repeatedly attempts to bring just the right dinosaur to school for pet day. But the tallest dino wrecks the bus, the widest crushes the lunchroom table, the smartest eats all the math tests and the spikiest? “At recess time / we played a game. / Our soccer balls / were not the same.” A final spread of dinosaur facts describes the dinosaur that fits each superlative and explains that what scientists know about these prehistoric creatures changes with new discoveries and findings. For teachers, this holds lots of spark for a creative-writing lesson…and a cautionary warning against holding a classroom pet day. Kendall’s artwork glows with deadpan realism, taking this imaginative tale to a whole new dimension. Watching the little boy’s pride turn to chagrin as each successive pet causes mayhem and destruction is as much fun as the chaos itself.

Readers will delight in this latest dino pets installment and wonder where the dinosaurs might go for their next calamitous adventure. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: July 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-525-42232-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2011

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Fans of macabre, tongue-in-cheek humor (and twist endings!) will enjoy time spent with Penelope.

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WE DON'T EAT OUR CLASSMATES

When a young T. Rex named Penelope starts school, she learns some lessons about her classmates; most importantly, they are not for eating.

Higgins’ starts out as most back-to-school books do: A nervous youngster equipped with an awesome new backpack and hearty lunch worries about her classmates. But then the orange-and-white dino, who’s clad in pink overalls, is taken aback to find that all her classmates are children—the human kind. And “children are delicious,” so she eats them. Mrs. Noodleman forces her to spit them out and reiterates the titular rule. Penelope’s classmates, covered in disgusting spit, express their displeasure with hugely expressive faces and postures. Penelope’s efforts to make friends are unimpressive to the kids (and will have readers in stitches!). A sad and lonely dino trudges home to some advice from her parents, but the temptation the next day is just too great. “Mrs. Noodleman, Penelope ate William Omoto again!” The whole class is afraid of her, except Walter, the goldfish. But when she extends the hand of friendship to him, he gives her a taste of her own medicine, leading to a change of heart and some new friends. Higgins’ illustrations combine scanned textures, graphite, ink, and Photoshop elements, and they feature a wonderfully diverse class that includes a girl in hijab, a tyke in glasses, and a boy wearing a kippah amid classmates of varying skin and hair colors and body types.

Fans of macabre, tongue-in-cheek humor (and twist endings!) will enjoy time spent with Penelope. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 19, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-368-00355-1

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2018

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A kissing cousin to Bob Shea’s Dinosaur vs.… series.

DINOSAUR KISSES

Chomping and stomping come naturally to an exuberant dinosaur hatchling. Kissing? That takes practice.

Emerging from her egg at a run, Dinah STOMPS her fat legs and CHOMPS weeds with her sharp teeth. Kissing, though, turns out to be a challenge. After sending one hapless victim flying with a head butt and another inadvertently down the hatch (“Whoops,” she says. “Not good”), she returns to the hatchery…just in time to welcome a new sib with kisses—the sort that involve chomping, stomping and delighted head butts (“WHOMP!”). Drawn in thick outlines with a huge grin, wide eyes and a mottled yellow hide, Dinah stumps her way through minimally detailed prehistoric landscapes populated with anxious-looking smaller creatures. Children who groove on wimpy little butterfly kisses had best look elsewhere.

A kissing cousin to Bob Shea’s Dinosaur vs.… series. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6104-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2013

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