cover image Chick-o-Saurus Rex

Chick-o-Saurus Rex

Lenore Jennewein, illus. by Daniel Jennewein. Simon & Schuster, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4424-5186-5

A factoid from evolutionary biology—that chickens are T. rex’s closest living relatives—provides a distinctive angle to a story about bullying from this husband-and-wife team (she’s the author of the YA novel Level 2; he’s the illustrator of Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten?). Daniel Jennewein’s digital drawings show scrawny, earnest Little Chick staring longingly at the neighborhood tree house, presently occupied by an obnoxious trio: Little Donkey, Little Sheep, and Little Pig. “This is a club for the brave and mighty,” they sneer. “So tell us, what mighty things can chickens do?” A search turns up a paleontologist grandfather and traces of an ancient ancestor said to lie buried nearby. “Can we go there? Please?” Little Chick pleads with his father, and the two uncover a gigantic T. rex skeleton. Armed with the knowledge of his terrifying sire—and a giant bone—Little Chick proves his bravery. While the story doesn’t offer a real-world bully solution, its premise is easy to understand and (more notably, perhaps) it takes the principle of evolution as the quiet, undisputed basis for all that happens. Ages 4–8. Agent: Stephen Barbara, Foundry Literary + Media. (July)