cover image My Dearest Dinosaur

My Dearest Dinosaur

Margaret Wild. Orchard Books (NY), $14.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-531-05453-6

The text of this uncommon picture book is composed of notes from a mother dinosaur to her husband, who is off searching for food for the family. Though the premise appears farfetched at first, sweetness and warmth prevail as this nurturing dino describes her new babies and their day by day existence. Their prehistoric routine is not without difficulties--the offspring called The Cheeky One seems bound to get into trouble as she seeks adventure; the mother herself has a troubling dream when ``everything was dark'' (perhaps a premonition of extinction). In the end, we never know if the father returns, but there remains a hope that he has survived and that the dinosaur partners will reunite. The mix of realism and fantasy in Rawlins's vibrant, dramatic artwork nicely matches the book's tone--itself a stylistic blend. Kids will be satisfied with appropriately fierce images of dinosaur life in this ultimately poignant story. Ages 4-7. (Sept.)