We Will Rock Our Classmates

Ryan T. Higgins. Disney-Hyperion, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-368-05959-6
In this companion to We Don’t Eat Our Classmates, Penelope the T. rex takes on the schoolwide talent show. As the only dinosaur among her human peers, Penelope is sometimes seen as more behemoth reptile than individual, something that doesn’t keep her from her love of music until, at the talent show rehearsal, someone calls out, “Can dinosaurs even play guitar?” Feeling doubt, Penelope must decide whether her identity is more multifaceted than just “dinosaur.” Higgins’s mixed-media illustrations reflect a world populated by children diverse in skin tone, ethnicity, religion, and ability, supplemented by the colorful pop of fantasy that goldenrod-hued Penelope and her magenta overalls provide. The animal-human dynamics can feel hazy (Penelope’s classmate has a nonanthropomorphic pet pony that Penelope wants to eat), but the message—the importance of pursuing passions despite limiting societal expectations—is encouraging. Ages 3–5. (July)
Reviewed on : 06/10/2020
Release date: 07/07/2020
Genre: Children's
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