The Dinosaurs Are Back and It's All Your Fault, Edward!
Niki Daly, Wendy Hartman. Margaret K. McElderry Books, $17 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-689-81152-4
Edward is calmly reading a dinosaur book when his brother interrupts him to point out a rock under his twin bed. ""What if it's a DINOSAUR EGG... and it hatches, Edward?"" the older boy asks. Edward hides under the covers as his tormentor describes a baby T. rex that would ""eat like a garbage truck"" and possibly attack certain little boys (""A big, crazy moon makes dinosaurs REALLY mad, Edward. SO mad that they forget who their friends are""). However, as the title foreshadows, the tale comes back to haunt its teller. Edward, dozing off, informs his overconfident brother that ""if you're asleep they'll think you're dead and will grab... someone else!"" Hartmann and Daly (previously paired for All the Magic in the World) effectively mimic two children who know each other's worst fears; the older kid even leans closer and raises his voice when he suspects Edward of napping. Producing jittery panels and spreads, Daly uses a palette of sludgy blue, gray and green watercolors to detail the threatening yet ethereal dinos of the boys' imaginations. Edward's shaky words appear hand-lettered in voice bubbles, while the brother's reasoned and sinister voice is represented in mechanical type. Although this book overlaps with generic what-if-I-had-a-pet-dinosaur stories, it will resonate strongly with those who have suffered from teasing siblings. Ages 3-7. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/31/1997