We Will Rock Our Classmates

Disney-Hyperion. (Penelope: Bk. 2). Jul. 2020. 48p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781368059596.
PreS-Gr 2–Penelope is back from We Don’t Eat Our Classmates. Penelope is the only T. rex in her school, where she loves to play, read, draw, and sing with her guitar. However, everyone tends to remember her first unfortunate days of gulping down her classmates and see her only in the role of dinosaur in their games. Signing up for the school talent show is difficult and scary. Her thoughts keep returning to words she heard as she first took the school stage—“Can dinosaurs even play a guitar?” After days of agonizing, and a memorable talk with her dad, Penelope realizes that being a T. rex is only part of who she is. With surprise, she discovers that her classmates actually want to be part of her band. Colorful digital illustrations with ink and graphite feature speech bubbles that enhance the dialogue, while full-page scenes detail Penelope’s world at school and home, e.g., a moment of low self-esteem shrinks her to a small circle of light within a double-page spread of darkness. Penelope’s feelings are easily identifiable in images of eyes bright with tears from sadness and insecurity or shy smiles of pride.
VERDICT A thoughtful and humorous story. Penelope’s latest adventure is a welcome addition for young readers and a suggested first purchase for all libraries.

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