illus. by T.L. McBeth. 40p. Holt. Jun. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781250134882. POP
PreS-Gr 1—This humorous addition to the dinosaur canon has a couple of unexpected twists. There are three dino brothers: two stegosauruses and one stegothesaurus, who uses three synonyms for each of his brothers' words. One day, out jumps an allosaurus, but when stegothesaurus uses his triumvirate of synonyms, instead of eating him, she responds with her own synonyms, as she is an "allothesaurus." They have a lovely day together until he asks how she learned so many words, and it turns out she ate another stegothesaurus. At this, our hero runs back to his brothers for "The Finale The Conclusion The Closing The End." The character of the stegothesaurus is a clever way to include vocabulary, and the concise text moves at a sprightly pace. However, the plot is thin and has the feel of an extended joke. The graphite pencil—and-photoshop illustrations have a simple, graphic, cartoony look, reminiscent of the works of Mo Willems and Greg Pizzoli, complete with a limited palette of peachy oranges and minty greens. The dinos all have large oval eyes with black oval pupils, as well as peach ovals for cheeks, giving them an appealing, if slightly odd, look. The backgrounds are also spare, and everything has heavy black outlines. While the humor will likely appeal to preschoolers and kindergartners, and the idea is clever, on the whole the final product is slight.
VERDICT A fun read-aloud and a solid addition where demand for vocabulary building, dinosaur books, or humor is high.

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