In rhyming verse, dinosaur parents review with an older sibling the rules of life with a new baby in the house.
In this preachy, didactic offering, a small dinosaur is reminded to be quiet upon awakening in the morning so as not to wake the new baby and not to play rough or snatch away toys. This occupies the first half of the book. The most entertaining and positive pages follow, in which the parents encourage the little dinosaur to teach the baby new things, like how to stomp and roar. They quickly return, however, to their tiresome admonitions, warning the child to be quiet at bedtime. The illustrations are bold, expressive and, in some instances, endearing, but overall, they work to emphasize the negative tone of the text. For instance, the only page spread that is not part of the verse features a big, angry-looking dinosaur mama glaring at a chastened child while the baby screams in the bassinette. The word “shhhhhh!” is scrawled in large letters across the right-hand page.
Parents looking for an engaging story to share with a new big brother or sister will do well to skip this one and choose something with a little spunk—like Jacqueline Woodson and Sophie Blackall’s Pecan Pie Baby (2010) or Marla Frazee’s The Boss Baby (2010)—instead. (Picture book. 3-5)