The tiny tot–turned-dinosaur (in her imagination) is back, this time facing a new challenge: a domineering friend.
Ally, or as she likes to be called “Ally-saurus,” can’t wait to play outside. After brushing her straight black hair into pigtails and chomping on her breakfast (things dinosaurs do not particularly like to do), she roars and stomps to meet her friends. As in the first outing (Ally-Saurus and the First Day of School, 2015) Torrey uses rough crayoned markings to signify the characters’ innermost passions, an enormously effective visual device. Ally has pink dinosaur spikes down her back to go along with her pink “ROAR!” Her friend Kai dances across a grand stage (the porch) in a purple top hat and tails, shouting, “TA-DA!” Kai’s little brother, Petey, clutches a yellow teddy and triumphantly yells, “BEAR!” But when Maddie shows up, everything changes. Maddie likes to tell everyone what to do. She decides the group will play monsters. She will be the queen monster (with her imagined crown and shaggy suit, she is reminiscent of another youngster who likes wild rumpuses). But when it gets to be too much, Ally-saurus’ “ROARRRRRRRRRR!” protects all her friends. It gives her the courage to stand up to Maddie once and for all. All the children have paper-white skin; Maddie’s hair is in a light pageboy, and Kai’s and Petey’s hair is close-cropped, black, and tightly curled, suggesting that they are black.
A message for the bossiest of friends but also a quiet lesson in valuing differences. (Picture book. 3-6)