Edwina, the Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She Was Extinct

( 13 )

Overview

Everyone in town knows Edwina. She is the dinosaur who plays with the kids. She is the dinosaur who helps little old ladies cross the street. And best of all, she bakes yummy chocolate-chip cookies. Everyone loves Edwinaexcept for Reginald Von Hoobie-Doobie. Reginald knows dinosaurs are extinct and is ready to prove it. But will anyone listen? And if they do, what will happen to Edwina.
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Overview

Everyone in town knows Edwina. She is the dinosaur who plays with the kids. She is the dinosaur who helps little old ladies cross the street. And best of all, she bakes yummy chocolate-chip cookies. Everyone loves Edwinaexcept for Reginald Von Hoobie-Doobie. Reginald knows dinosaurs are extinct and is ready to prove it. But will anyone listen? And if they do, what will happen to Edwina.
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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
What's not to love about a dinosaur who "baked chocolate chip cookies for everyone" and wears pearls and a pink-ribboned straw hat? Plenty, if you're Reginald Von Hoobie-Doobie, a skeptic determined to prove to his classmates and Edwina the dinosaur that her species is extinct. Buoyant pastel cartoons show how Edwina's big-hearted ways (she helps old ladies cross the street and listens to the boy when no one else will) make a believer out of Reginald. (Ages 4 to 6)
Child magazine's Best Children's Book Awards 2006
Publishers Weekly
Matronly Edwina, a lichen-green T. Rex wearing a beribboned straw bonnet and toting a lavender handbag on her claw, loves doing community service. Crayony sketches show her fixing a street lamp (no ladder necessary) and letting kids slide down her back. "Everybody loved Edwina... except Reginald Von Hoobie-Doobie." Reginald, a precocious boy with malicious tilted eyebrows, passionately delivers a report on " `Things That Are Extinct.' Specifically, dinosaurs." His classmates, whose doodles of Edwina hang on the bulletin board, swiftly contradict him and run outside to have some of the dino's homemade cookies. Yet Reginald doesn't give up (and another book might present such stubbornness as admirable). His desperate efforts to be heard finally attract Edwina's maternal solicitude, and in a bombastic pantomime sequence, he presents her with "the truth about dinosaurs." Afterward, "Reginald felt fantastic! No one had ever listened to him so well for so long," and Edwina "knew she was extinct." Even better, disillusionment doesn't change Edwina. "She just didn't care. And, by then... neither did Reginald Von Hoobie-Doobie." The fellow has finally found a friend. In the closing image, Edwina bakes cookies for her new pal. Like Willems's Leonardo the Terrible Monster, this is a tale about craving attention, but the reassuring tone and expert pacing will win over readers. More important, the book comments on polite debate and helps raise useful questions. Is there such a thing as too much knowledge? Can popular notions be challenged? Should we listen to others, even when we don't agree? For Edwina, ignorance is bliss, but awareness is good, too. Ages 4-7. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Sheilah Egan
Already well known for his "Pigeon" books, Willems has created another affable character in the endearing Edwina. The endpapers are covered in plates full of cookies…children can be led to make predictions right from the opening of the cover. In the first few pages we learn that Edwina is a beloved town fixture who helps the townspeople with little favors, plays with the children, AND bakes chocolate chip cookies for everyone. Everyone loves Edwina, except for Reginald Von Hoobie-Doobie (a great name to read aloud). Reginald is exceptionally smart and has tried valiantly to explain to everyone that dinosaurs are extinct. Even when he lectures the class about the science behind his proclamations, the lure of fresh baked cookies causes them to rush out to Edwina and ignore Reginald completely. He makes several more attempts to convince everyone that Edwina cannot exist and finds himself alone with no one to listen to him at all. Then a voice said, "I'll listen to you." Naturally, it is helpful Edwina offering to pay attention to his theories. She is shocked but she "just didn't care," and by then neither did Reginald. As he tries to explain to Edwina that she is extinct, Reginald's expressions are concrete evidence of Willems' genius--just a few strokes of his talented fingers and we can really "see" Reginald's frustrations and efforts to be convincing. Edwina's initial dismay at the news is also wonderfully conveyed by the illustration of her "shock." This will be great fun to read aloud and discuss with youngsters.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Edwina the dinosaur is known and loved throughout the town for her many acts of kindness and her excellent chocolate-chip cookies. The literal-minded class know-it-all, Reginald Von Hoobie-Doobie, sets out to prove to everyone that dinosaurs are extinct. No one pays the slightest attention to him; ironically, only Edwina is convinced (not that she cares). In the end, as Reginald sits enjoying her cookies, he finds that he doesn't care either. Willems's expressive cartoon style makes the most of his fabled ability with line. Readers will enjoy Edwina in her straw hat, handbag, delicately painted claws, beribboned hat and simple strand of pearls, and especially her expression of utter shock when she realizes she is extinct. Aesthetically, this is neither as elegantly designed as Willems's "Pigeon" books (Hyperion) nor as bold a departure as his Knuffle Bunny (Hyperion, 2004), but it will nonetheless please the author's many fans. The added pleasure of finding Knuffle Bunny and Pigeon in the illustrations is an unexpected bonus.-Kate McClelland, Perrot Memorial Library, Old Greenwich, CT Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A fey foray into existentialism from an emerging master of whimsy. Edwina is the nicest possible dinosaur, who bakes chocolate-chip cookies for everyone and helps little old ladies across the street. Everyone loves her except Reginald Von Hoobie-Doobie, the worst kind of know-it-all who takes it upon himself to convince Edwina that she is extinct and thereby to force her out of existence. When his campaign to persuade everyone else falls flat, it is left to the perpetually sweet Edwina to lend a sympathetic ear. How does she take the news of her impossible existence? She, like everyone but Reginald, just doesn't care. A muted palette and two-dimensional backgrounds firmly situate Willems's cartoons in an imaginary world of childhood, Edwina herself a masterful creation complete with hat, pearls and handbag, Reginald and the other humans Feiffer-esque in the expressiveness of their body language. Is this a sly jab in the ribs at another preternaturally kind T. rex? Who cares? The just-right resolution is a tribute to the child's rock-solid faith in how the world should be, not how it really is. (Picture book. 4-7)
Children's Literature - Miranda McClain
Edwina is a perfectly sweet character with just one problem. She should be extinct! Instead she is busy helping old ladies across the street and making chocolate chip cookies for everyone in town. The entire community adores Edwina, everyone that is except the local know-it-all Reginald Von Hoobie-Doobie. Reginald is incensed that he seems to be the only one who notices a problem and proceeds to educate the town on the status of the dinosaurs, primarily their extinction. No one pays him much attention until he is able to talk directly to Edwina herself. Edwina is completely shocked by what Reginald has to tell her. Then surprisingly does not care and goes right on doing what she has always done before without a care in the world. This engaging, humorous story will delight children with its surprise ending and mo. Willems voice, as Reginald Von Hoobie-Doobie, is perfect. Just be sure to have plenty of chocolate chip cookies on hand when watching. There is a lesson on how to make them as one of the extra features along with an enlightening interview with mo. Willems himself. There are several suggested before and after viewing activities that will help educators find the best way to incorporate the story into their lesson plans. Reviewer: Miranda McClain
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786837489
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 9/28/2006
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 142,920
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.25 (w) x 12.37 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Customer Reviews

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( 13 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 21, 2012

    Very entertaining. My daughter and I both laughed at the illustr

    Very entertaining. My daughter and I both laughed at the illustrations. While the story is simple for young readers, it also has a good rhythm for reading aloud.

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  • Posted March 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    My 3 year old love it!

    It is hard to keep my 3 year old twins interested in the same book and they love the tale of Edwina, the Dinosaur.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2009

    Fun, Silly Book

    My 2 year old daughter loves having us read this book to her--she enjoys the pictures & especially loves hearing the name "von Hoobie Doobie".

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