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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.)
- Dr. Judy Rowen
A young boy begs his mom for a pet stegosaurus, explaining how useful such a pet would be. The stegosaurus would scare away the monsters from the boy's closet, eat all the yucky vegetables, provide transportation, etc. Mom blithely goes on about her business while the boy pleads his case. At the last minute he changes his request-the reason for the change is an amusing surprise. Drawings bring the boy's fantasies to life in a charming way.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-A young boy begs his mother for a pet dinosaur, listing all its imaginative and practical uses-to squash scary monsters in his closet at night, to eat his ``yucky'' vegetables at dinner, to take his class to the museum piggyback, etc. The friendly stegosaurus cavorts through the book's oversized double-page spreads with aplomb, easily accomplishing the child's every wish. The surprise ending is reminiscent of Judith Viorst's poem, ``Mother Doesn't Want a Dog,'' and will evoke chuckles from readers. The text's repeated use of the title's refrain, the large illustrations, and the popular subject matter all add up to a good selection for story time, and an entertaining book for young dinosaur aficionados. Slight but amusing.-Judy Constantinides, East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA
An imaginative little boy begs his mother for a pet stegosaurus, carefully citing its advantages. For example, the beast can save him from night monsters, eat his yucky vegetables, and transport his entire class to the museum for a field trip. In addition, it's sure to win the tug-of-war at summer camp, protect him while trick-or-treating, and make a great mascot for the peewee football team. The most compelling reason, of course, is the gigantic egg the boy has found--the one that is hatching into a "terrible lizard" as he speaks. Lewis' colorful illustrations visualize all the absurdities of the boy's reasoning, particularly in the last spread in which the hatchling turns out to be a full-grown tyrannosaur rather than a gentle stegosaurus. The boy's persistent begging and pleading will be recognized by young and old alike, making this a good bet for young dinosaur fans and their parents.