A Unicorn, a Dinosaur, and a Shark Were Riding a Bicycle

Penguin Workshop. Mar. 2024. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593519493.
K-Gr 2–Fenske returns to his three friends to tell a meta-tale filled with snark. This picture book is a little different; all the jokes center around the narration and how unicorn, dinosaur, and shark will not be forced into telling a story with which they don’t agree. A unicorn, a dinosaur, and a shark are at the beach and definitely not riding a bike. Geez, can’t the book narrator get the story straight? Well, maybe if the narrator tries a few different descriptions the three pals will agree. Nope, this is going to be a battle of wills. But the unicorn, dinosaur, and shark do want to tell their story, it just has to truly represent their actions, thoughts, and attitudes. In the end, will they ride the bicycle? Maybe, maybe not. The language is more complex to deliver dialogue dripping with humor. The bright illustrations use a highly detailed comic style which exaggerates expressions both facial and physical. There’s no “message,” but instead a focus on humorous delivery, encouraging story analysis. Educators and caregivers will surely be asked to “do the voices.” Fenske continues to deliver stories deserving repeat reads, which help foster independent reading.
VERDICT A self-referential take on the picture book genre is guaranteed to entertain readers, making it a solid purchase where budgets allow.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing