How to Raise a Dinosaur

24p. 978-0-76243-342-1.
PreS-Gr 2—Can raising a dinosaur be similar to raising a pet? Readers will find out in this hilarious parable meets cautionary tale that reads like a guide to puppy care. A boy immediately engages readers by asking, "Are you thinking of getting a pet? Then you've come to the right place." He lists the obvious options: dogs, cats, horses, mice, etc., including his selection—a dinosaur. Children learn there is much to consider when choosing a pet—size, expenses, food preferences, walking, playing, training, and vet visits. Cartoonlike illustrations are playful and explode with bright colors. Bernasconi masterfully creates each image as a collage, using found objects and incorporating textures and shapes that are digitally enhanced. Many pages include lift-up flaps, and some corners have cut-outs of dinosaurlike teeth, accentuating the fun. The simple text, with one sentence per page, is in perfect sync with illustrations. "Don't forget to pick up the poop" shows the narrator using a scoop truck for this dino-size task. "Always let your dinosaur know who's boss" features the narrator scolding his pet, while his dino listens sheepishly. Youngsters will enjoy multiple readings while poring over the visual details. The narrator wraps up his advice with "Above all, give your dinosaur lots of love...." And with a turn to the last page, readers will discover the side-splitting answer to what happens if they don't. This title will be an enormous hit at storytime.—Anne Beier, Clifton Public Library, NJ
A boy expounds on the virtues of a pet dinosaur, also offering tips on its care and maintenance (e.g., "It needs lots of water and lots of tummy rubs"). Humorous large-scale mixed-media illustrations enhance the straight-faced text. Inventively shaped and layered flaps appear throughout; some seem gratuitous, others expand the story's scope.

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