Imagine if instead of getting the usual lollipop or sticker everywhere you go, there was something bigger on offer… something much, much bigger! This is exactly what happens when a little boy accompanies his mum on a busy shopping trip. Just when the little boy thinks he's going to die of boredom, something very unusual happens… shops everywhere are giving away a very special treat with every purchase ~ a free dinosaur! It's a dream come true… except, what exactly do you do with these Jurassic treats? And how do you convince mum to let you keep them?
Broach (Shakespeare's Secret) and Caldecott Medalist Small's (So You Want to Be President?) deadpan delivery of a delectably over-the-top premise makes this tall-format picture book a virtually guaranteed crowd-pleaser. At the bakery with his mother, the freckle-faced narrator spies an odd sign above the doughnut case: "Buy a Dozen Get a Dinosaur." They make the purchase, expecting a toy, but the bakery lady trots out a triceratops. When the boy's flummoxed mother cries, "How are we supposed to get that home?" the proprietor responds with a sardonic smile, "Oh, don't worry, he'll follow you. They always do." After his doctor's appointment, the boy asks for a sticker, but the nurse announces that there are no stickers today, "just dinosaurs," and the receptionist presents him with a stegosaurus. His mother prudently refuses to stop at the shoe store, movie theater and diner, but the boy picks up a pterosaur at the barber shop and uses a doughnut to lure home a hadrosaur ("It wasn't my fault" he disingenuously tells readers). Beleaguered by prehistoric pets, Mom comes up with a brilliant solution. Small fuels his watercolor-and-ink art with just the right dose of hyperbole, comically relaying the boy's elation and the mother's distress at the expanding menagerie. This well-balanced romp packs an outsize helping of humor. Ages 3-7. (Sept.)