cover image Rawr!


Todd H. Doodler. Scholastic Press, $12.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-545-51118-6

It’s hard to be a dinosaur in a human world. “I am bigger than every kid in my class,” this not-so-terrible T. Rex explains. “And I am not very good at hide-and seek.” Nobody realizes that “RAWR!” means hello and goodbye. But if people would take the time to get to know the dinosaur, they’d find that he has all the requisite social skills, from being careful around the class aquarium (although this does not have a calming effect on the goldfish) to saying, “Excuse me,” after a burp. Besides, who else can get the soccer ball off the roof without help from a grownup or a ladder? Although this outing is not as inspired as Doodler’s Bear in Underwear series, he succeeds in creating another cuddle-worthy hero (the cover of the book even features the green dino in plush relief) who possesses an ideal mix of friendly vulnerability and impressive exceptionalism. The bright, bold cartooning and good-hearted plea to look beyond first impressions and preconceptions make this a solid conversation starter for a new year of preschool or kindergarten. Ages 3–5. (Sept.)