cover image Tiara Saurus Rex

Tiara Saurus Rex

Brianna Caplan Sayres, illus. by Mike Boldt. Bloomsbury, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-61963-263-9

Who will be the next Miss Dinosaur? Patty Saurus in her “velvet gown and four inch heels”? Sarah Topps and her three-horn hoop-twirling talent? As if. The makeup artists and talent coaches backstage seem to know that the only real contender is an intimidatingly toothy T. rex named Tina: “Her brilliant smile seems to say,/ ‘Don’t bother to compete.’ ” Sayres (Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night?) establishes an enticing undercurrent of ominous tension—is Tina, the sole carnivore in the pageant, simply eating her way through the contestant field? Boldt’s (Colors versus Shapes) digital pictures, which have the look of lavish acrylic artwork, reveal that the other contestants have simply fled; a happy ending that turns on the one dino who stays behind (as well as Tina’s weakness for flattery) is rushed. These collaborators clearly have affection for the world of footlights and dressing rooms, and they find plenty of comedy in according these unlikely contestants all the respect they are due. Ages 3–6. Author’s agent: Teresa Kietlinski, Prospect Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Jennifer Rofé, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Feb.)