Have your teacher read this the day before show-and-tell: Any pet will be more than welcome…as long as it’s not a...

PTERODACTYL SHOW AND TELL

When a boy brings his pet pterodactyl for show-and-tell, chaos reigns in the third grade.

Told from the boy’s point of view, the book walks readers through this not-so-typical show-and-tell day, which starts when the pterodactyl almost eats a couple classmates before they’ve even entered the building. But then Krasnesky takes off the kid gloves, and the children start disappearing: “My teacher had to make some minor changes in attendance, / and social studies looked more like the War of Independence.” The illustration that accompanies this last phrase shows the students barricaded behind desks and chairs, one holding an American flag, another playing a (banana) fife, the narrator playing a drum, and several flinging paper projectiles. At recess, the kids all played hide-and-seek (duh!). Leonello gets plenty of practice at illustrating fear, shock, and dismay in her digital artwork. As the day goes on, she masterfully incorporates funny elements that reflect what’s happening: In math, there’s a circle graph showing the number of students present and those absent (i.e., eaten), and during reading, don’t miss the titles of the kids’ books. The class, headed by a white teacher, starts the day diverse but ends up populated by only the white, redheaded narrator and his green pet.

Have your teacher read this the day before show-and-tell: Any pet will be more than welcome…as long as it’s not a pterodactyl. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-936261-34-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Flashlight Press

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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Sugary uplift, shrink-wrapped for the masses.

HOW TO CATCH A LOVEOSAURUS

From the How To Catch… series

An elusive new quarry leads the How To Catch… kids on a merry chase through a natural history museum.

Taking at least a step away from the “hunters versus prey” vibe of previous entries in the popular series, the racially diverse group of young visitors dashes through various museum halls in pursuit of the eponymous dino—whose quest to “spread kindness and joy ’round the world” takes the form of a mildly tumultuous museum tour. In most of Elkerton’s overly sweet, color-saturated scenes, only portions of the Loveosaurus, who is purple and covered with pink hearts, are visible behind exhibits or lumbering off the page. But the children find small enticements left behind, from craft supplies to make cards for endangered species to pictures of smiley faces, candy heart–style personal notes (“You Rock!” “Give Hugs”), and, in the hall of medieval arms and armor, a sign urging them to “Be Honest Be Kind.” The somewhat heavy-handed lesson comes through loud and clear. “There’s a message, he wants us to think,” hints Walstead to clue in more obtuse readers…and concluding scenes of smiling people young and otherwise exchanging hugs and knuckle bumps, holding doors for a wheelchair rider, and dancing through clouds of sparkles indicate that they, at least, have gotten it. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Sugary uplift, shrink-wrapped for the masses. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 6, 2022

ISBN: 9781728268781

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Jan. 18, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2023

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Wins for compassion and for the refusal to let physical limitations hold one back.

TINY T. REX AND THE IMPOSSIBLE HUG

With such short arms, how can Tiny T. Rex give a sad friend a hug?

Fleck goes for cute in the simple, minimally detailed illustrations, drawing the diminutive theropod with a chubby turquoise body and little nubs for limbs under a massive, squared-off head. Impelled by the sight of stegosaurian buddy Pointy looking glum, little Tiny sets out to attempt the seemingly impossible, a comforting hug. Having made the rounds seeking advice—the dino’s pea-green dad recommends math; purple, New Age aunt offers cucumber juice (“That is disgusting”); red mom tells him that it’s OK not to be able to hug (“You are tiny, but your heart is big!”), and blue and yellow older sibs suggest practice—Tiny takes up the last as the most immediately useful notion. Unfortunately, the “tree” the little reptile tries to hug turns out to be a pterodactyl’s leg. “Now I am falling,” Tiny notes in the consistently self-referential narrative. “I should not have let go.” Fortunately, Tiny lands on Pointy’s head, and the proclamation that though Rexes’ hugs may be tiny, “I will do my very best because you are my very best friend” proves just the mood-lightening ticket. “Thank you, Tiny. That was the biggest hug ever.” Young audiences always find the “clueless grown-ups” trope a knee-slapper, the overall tone never turns preachy, and Tiny’s instinctive kindness definitely puts him at (gentle) odds with the dinky dino star of Bob Shea’s Dinosaur Vs. series.

Wins for compassion and for the refusal to let physical limitations hold one back. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4521-7033-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

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