Dinosaur Starts School


A young dinosaur is scared of starting school, but step by step he finds it is fun.
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A young dinosaur is scared of starting school, but step by step he finds it is fun.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Lots of books have been written about the first day of school jitters and Duncan has produced one of her own. In this story, our young protagonist has a dinosaur friend (real or imagined) and he is the one who tells his big friend that there is nothing to fear about heading off to school. The opening spread with the big dinosaur hiding his head under a pillow sets the stage for this tongue in cheek lesson. Off they go to school because schools help you grow up to be smart. They will not get lost at school, painting can be fun, and lunch can be intimidating—especially if you do not like what is on the menu. Even if you are shy, another classmate may ask you to play and then you can have a glorious time on the swings, seesaw, in the sandbox, and playing tag. It is all such fun that both the young boy and the dinosaur will be back the next day. Loosely drawn illustrations convey the humor, and the big size of the dinosaur leads to even more smiles (what could ever frighten someone so large?). The book could be used for those heading off to preschool or kindergarten. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal


A little boy offers his imaginary dinosaur words of comfort on the first day of school. The child has an answer for everything. When Dinosaur says, "But it's too big. I'll get lost," he answers, "Don't be silly! You can't get lost because our classroom is just the right size for dinosaurs." "But it's too noisy. I'll get a headache" elicits, "It's only noisy because everyone is laughing and having a good time." The youngster assuages fear after fear until he and his alter ego encounter another child/dinosaur pair on the playground who are similarly reluctant to join in. Predictably, the kindred spirits find each other, a new friendship is born, and the next day of school is eagerly anticipated by child and dinosaur alike. The plotline here is remarkably similar to Kevin Henkes's Wemberly Worried (HarperCollins, 2000), and the conceit of a dinosaur as the extension of a child is Jane Yolen's forte in How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? (Scholastic, 2007). The illustrations feature bright colors and a diverse cast of waifish children, but there is a constant sense of both movement and instability as road and pathways curve and swirl, and the horizon line is at times almost semicircular. The tension this creates undermines the efforts to reassure.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ

Kirkus Reviews
A series of what-ifs posits a timid stegosaurus whose little boy must guide him gently through the first day of school, defusing his anxiety at every step. The direct-address text prompts the boy at every turn: What if Dinosaur refuses to go into the building? What if Dinosaur thinks the classroom is too noisy? "You'd say, ‘It's only noisy because everyone is laughing and having a good time.' " Allwright makes gentle use of the ridiculousness of the premise, pairing swiftly drawn smiling humans against a large, textured red reptile. And when Dinosaur makes a friend-a green triceratops, complete with child of its own-she makes sweet visual hay. While most readers will recognize just who occupies which role in this small fear-buster, they'll be happy enough to let it unfold. (Picture book. 4-6)
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
It's the first day of school, and Dinosaur has a lot to be worried about, from the size of the building to the yucky food in the school cafeteria to the mess he made during painting time. Fortunately for Dinosaur, he has a small human companion at his side ready to counter any fears with a logical and supportive response.... Allwright's paintings are muted and full of peaceful light, offering a pleasing tonal accompaniment to the story.
— Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807516003
  • Publisher: Whitman, Albert & Company
  • Publication date: 3/1/2009
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,393,804
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.30 (d)

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