cover image Can I Have a Stegosaurus Mom

Can I Have a Stegosaurus Mom

Lois G. Grambling, Grambling. Troll Communications, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8167-3386-6

In plaintive tones usually reserved for requesting a pony or puppy, the narrator of this inventive tale begs for a prehistoric pet. As Grambling (A Hundred Million Reasons for Owning an Elephant) lists the benefits of beast ownership, Lewis's (Santabear's First Christmas) accomplished full-bleed spreads show the boy enjoying the company of the lumbering herbivore--sneaking it ``yucky vegetables'' at the table, pitting it against his friends in tug-of-war, going trick-or-treating under its looming shadow (``Who'd pick on a little Stegosaurus... when a BIG STEGOSAURUS was with him?''). For the most part, the fantasy dino is cuddly, with expressive eyes that convey dog-like friendliness. But several drawings are spooky--Lewis's pastel compositions, with their cloudy, monochrome backgrounds and detailed foregrounds, emphasize the creature's ground-shaking bulk. Later, after the pleading, comes the punch line: ``Yesterday I found this GIGANTIC egg.... And it's beginning to crack open....'' The only thing missing from this humorous romp is the would-be pet proprietor's promise to feed and walk the hatchling. Ages 3-6. (Feb.)