The Really, Really, Really Big Dinosaur

Richard Byrne, Author, Richard Byrne, Illustrator
Richard Byrne. Tiger Tales, $12.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-58925-123-6
Paperback - 28 pages - 978-0-19-275764-7
Hardcover - 28 pages - 978-0-19-275763-0
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When a big bully of a dinosaur (he's purple but clearly no relation to Barney) demands that a very little (and awfully cute) blue dinosaur named Jackson hand over his jelly beans, the little reptile demurs. Half of the beans are for his friend, Jackson explains, and "he's a really, really, really big friend." The purple meanie finds that hard to believe—"Everyone knows I'm the biggest and strongest dinosaur around here!" he says, a point he tries to drive home by showing off his physical prowess. Then he discovers that he's morsel-sized when it comes to Jackson's humongous, green buddy. Byrne's (Millicent and Meere) drawings, composed along a single plane, have the emphatic crayoning, saucer eyes and chunky shapes of a comic drawn illicitly during a boring arithmetic unit. The story isn't all that comically taut, and the ending—which finds the bully regurgitated, reformed ("he was happy just sharing"), and welcomed as a member of the gang—is too pat, but Jackson's sly ingenuity in dealing with the aggressor makes it clear that size isn't everything. Ages 3–7. (Sept.)
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