cover image Dogosaurus Rex

Dogosaurus Rex

Anna Staniszewski, illus. by Kevin Hawkes. Holt, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-8050-9706-1

The smartest person in this delightfully mischievous story is the reader: he or she will instantly know that Sadie, Ben’s new shelter pet, isn’t a dog but an enormous green Tyrannosaurus rex. To all of the characters, however, Sadie is just a very big pooch, albeit one who is “kind of funny looking” (according to neighborhood kids), smashes cars and fruit stands when obeying Ben’s commands, and leaves a pile as big as Ben himself when she goes outside to “do her business.” “This dog sure is a lot of trouble,” says Ben’s mother. “We might have to bring her back to the shelter.” But Ben is determined to make his “dog” indispensable, and within a few pages, he inadvertently finds a way. Staniszewski (Power Down, Little Robot) keeps her ace poker face intact until the very end, and Hawkes’s (Have a Look, Says Book) watercolors play right along, evoking the earnest innocence of a small-town setting in a way that brings to mind vintage children’s books. Ages 4–8. [em]Author’s agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary. (Aug.) [/em]