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

READ REVIEW

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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Lost and found was never so riotously funny or emotionally draining.

DON'T FORGET DEXTER!

A lost toy goes through an existential crisis.

The setup is on the copyright page. Amid the markers of a universally recognizable waiting room—fish tank, chairs against the wall, receptionist’s window, kids’ coloring table—is a tiny orange T. Rex with a dialogue balloon: “Hello?” A turn of the page brings Dexter T. Rexter into close view, and he explains his dilemma directly to readers. He and his best friend came for a checkup, but Jack’s disappeared. Maybe readers can help? But when Jack is still MIA, Dexter becomes disconsolate, believing his friend might have left him behind on purpose; maybe he likes another toy better? Dexter weighs his good qualities against those he lacks, and he comes up short. But when readers protest (indicated by a change in Dexter’s tone after the turn of the page), Dexter gains the determination he needs to make a plan. Unfortunately, though hilariously, his escape plan fails. But luckily, a just-as-upset black boy comes looking for Dexter, and the two are reunited. Ward’s ink, colored-pencil, and cut-paper illustrations give readers a toy’s view of the world and allow children to stomp in Dexter’s feet for a while, his facial expressions giving them lots of clues to his feelings. Readers will be reminded of both Knuffle Bunny and Scaredy Squirrel, but Dexter is a character all his own.

Lost and found was never so riotously funny or emotionally draining. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5420-4727-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2017

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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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