cover image Horrible Holly's Pet Raptor

Horrible Holly's Pet Raptor

Michael Ratnett. Troll Communications, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8167-4391-9

In this aimless picture book, Horrible Holly, a fearsome girl, disobeys her parents and turns a hose on her schoolteacher. Such an incorrigible child demands an evil sidekick, so when the world's only dinosaur escapes, Holly decides, ""Woweee!... A real raptor. That's just the sort of pet for me!"" She locates the runaway (""we can be twice as horrible together!""), but discovers he only wants to eat her for lunch. Holly bolts ""to a deserted island where she was sure she was safe,"" and stays there for the remainder of the book. Meanwhile, the dinosaur effortlessly takes Holly's place in polite society (the joke being that the flesh-eater is nicer than its would-be captor). Ratnett (Monsters of Class 7) strains to be silly: with Holly in exile, the raptor delights its adoptive family by doing housework and winning sports medals. Evans (Tiffany Dino Works Out) uses jagged borders to intensify his day-glo palette of fuschia and green, and he depicts the raptor as a mini T. rex with rolling eyes and a lolling tongue. In the end, Holly never has to face any consequences for her abominable behavior (the dino even sends Granny to the island for Holly to torture) and the book's point is nowhere to be found. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)