No, dinos don’t have to do the same things that little boys do, including have any manners.

DINOSAURS DON'T HAVE BEDTIMES!

A little boy intent on his dinosaur persona insists that dinosaurs don’t do the things his mother wants him to do.

Dinnertime? Not for dinos! “They eat whenever they like,” according to Mo. The verso shows the two white redheads at the table, his mother sitting nicely and the little boy turned away from the table in his chair and messily using his hands to eat spaghetti and meatballs, green dinosaur-foot slippers on his feet. The recto shows the boy’s vivid imagination at work: a green dino with bare, very similar feet and with a red-striped belly to match the boy’s shirt crunches something unidentifiable in the midst of a jungle. This pattern continues throughout as the duo cleans up, takes a bath, dries off, puts on pajamas, plays, has a glass of milk, and heads to bed. While readers may be caught up in this boy’s admirable ability to pretend, adults will be wondering about this mom’s spine: Mo’s naughty antics get no more than a sigh, whether it’s crayon drawings on the wall or milk bubbles that cascade over the table. In spite of the boy’s poor behavior, no one will have any doubt of this mother’s love as she tucks him tenderly in, the bright, busy digital illustrations speaking volumes.

No, dinos don’t have to do the same things that little boys do, including have any manners. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 8, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7636-8927-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 17, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2016

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Still, this young boy’s imagination is a powerful force for helping him deal with life, something that should be true for...

OLIVER AND HIS EGG

Oliver, of first-day-of-school alligator fame, is back, imagining adventures and still struggling to find balance between introversion and extroversion.

“When Oliver found his egg…” on the playground, mint-green backgrounds signifying Oliver’s flight into fancy slowly grow larger until they take up entire spreads; Oliver’s creature, white and dinosaurlike with orange polka dots, grows larger with them. Their adventures include sharing treats, sailing the seas and going into outer space. A classmate’s yell brings him back to reality, where readers see him sitting on top of a rock. Even considering Schmid’s scribbly style, readers can almost see the wheels turning in his head as he ponders the girl and whether or not to give up his solitary play. “But when Oliver found his rock… // Oliver imagined many adventures // with all his friends!” This last is on a double gatefold that opens to show the children enjoying the creature’s slippery curves. A final wordless spread depicts all the children sitting on rocks, expressions gleeful, wondering, waiting, hopeful. The illustrations, done in pastel pencil and digital color, again make masterful use of white space and page turns, although this tale is not nearly as funny or tongue-in-cheek as Oliver and His Alligator (2013), nor is its message as clear and immediately accessible to children.

Still, this young boy’s imagination is a powerful force for helping him deal with life, something that should be true for all children but sadly isn’t. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: July 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-7573-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2014

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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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