Welcome to Dinosaur School

Ladybird. Jun. 2023. 32p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780241607275.
PreS-Gr 1–A hazy morning sun reaches over misty mountains, shining down on a dino town stirring with anticipation on the first day of school. Jewel, a tiny teal dino, rises feeling uneasy about the big day ahead. Papa greets her, spatula in hand, ready to whip up pancakes, and Dad helps her dress for school. Before long, the family of three steps outside into the bustling dino herd trekking toward school in a scene reminiscent of Richard Scarry’s Busy, Busy Town. Waving goodbye to her dads, Jewel joins her Jurassic classmates in a tour of her new classroom. Personalized backpack hooks, individual carpet leaves, and labeled notebooks welcome each little dino as valued members of the class. Lunch is an herbivore’s delight, with fruit and veggies to chomp and slurp before an afternoon of lava pit playtime, rock painting, and dino story time. At dismissal, Jewel runs to Dad, announcing that her first day of school was great, and he assures her that her second day will be even better! Jewel is bewildered. “You mean…I have to go back?” Cobden’s sweet, rhyming story is upbeat, showering positivity and plenty of exclamation points onto the first day of school. Schauer’s digital cartoon illustrations are vibrant and dynamic, matching the story’s high energy. Jewel having two dads is presented matter-of-factly and seamlessly integrated into the story without spotlighting it as a point of discussion.
VERDICT Young dino lovers will enjoy sinking their teeth into this cheerful and inclusive story before stomping off for the first day of school.

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