Field Guide to the Grumpasaurus

illus. by Edward Hemingway. 32p. Clarion. Jun. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780544546653.
Toddler-PreS—Have you ever seen a Grumpasaurus? It's a rather small creature, but it's fearsome, especially when it's in distress. Hemingway's picture book explores how to spot a Grumpasaurus, a creature that most readers will easily recognize. After the narrator identifies a tragedy (a broken toy) and describing its behavior, readers are told to "approach with caution" and that it is "best to be curious about the Grumpasaurus from a safe distance." An adult attempts to calm the Grumpasaurus with a bath, but it's a mended toy that dissolves all tantrums and tears to reveal the human boy within. The art is set on a notebook layout, with yellowed lined paper. Oil-painted rain clouds and other domestic accents are provided to create a more homey setting. The typeface is small, and most of the storytelling is captured in the sidelines and captions, which further explain the creature's antics. While the message that it is "simply never a good idea to approach the Grumpasaurus unless…bearing gifts" is a somewhat faulty one, the repaired teddy does the trick, and Grumpasaurus's transformation from prickly to huggable is totally toddlerlike and satisfying.
VERDICT Probably best for one-on-one sharing for those seeking a different kind of dinosaur story and those wanting to acknowledge and talk about strong emotions. This tale will surely resonate with young audiences.

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