cover image The Dinosaur's New Clothes

The Dinosaur's New Clothes

Hans Christian Andersen, Diane Goode. Scholastic, $15.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-590-38360-8

What is perhaps the most famous swindle in children's books receives a prehistoric makeover in this visually wry retelling. Using the palace of Versailles as a backdrop, Goode (Mama's Perfect Present) whips up an ensemble of pompadoured and powdered dinosaurs to portray the characters in the Hans Christian Andersen classic, with a Tyrannosaurus rex cast as the clothes-crazy emperor. The artist has a field day with the setting. Pilasters and ceilings in the Hall of Mirrors sport dino motifs and carvings; dino cherubs wing their way across elegant paintings; and the royal ""Rex"" insignia takes on a whole new meaning when intersected with a giant ""T."" Best of all are the emperor's many outfits, which have images from well-known children's stories woven into their designs. It's all good silly fun, a light parody of Andersen's send-up of gullibility and greed. Ages 3-up. (Sept.)