The Girl and the Dinosaur

Bloomsbury. Jan. 2020. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781547603220.
PreS-Gr 1–Young Marianne digs for bones on the beach, despite her elders’ concerns about her solitude. “She needs to find some friends,” they say,” and let those old bones be.” She discovers and assembles a “beastie,” a long-necked dinosaur who fulfills her bedtime wish on a starry night and comes to life. They set off on a series of fanciful adventures, including bobbing with boats on the sea and cavorting with fairies and unicorns in woodlands. Finally, they discover a cloud island where children romp with friendly dinosaurs from their own dreams. At dawn, Marianne returns to the beach, where she is joined by a half dozen children digging in the sand. Hughes’ fluid rhymes soothe with gentle gerunds. Massini’s muted colors for the dream sequences match the story well, and make the heroine’s carrot-top blaze even brighter.
VERDICT The balance of adventure and whimsy expressed in text and watercolor collages creates a pleasing bedtime tale.

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