Hello, friends! Our book today is Stegothesaurus, written by Bridget Heos and illustrated by T.L. McBeth, a silly adventure for budding wordsmiths.
Once upon a time, there were two regular stegosauruses and their brother, a stegoTHEsaurus. And while the first two brothers were content with their simple words to describe their world (“big” mountain, “yummy” plants), their brother likes to use his wealth of synonyms instead: “Gargantuan, gigantic, Goliath!”, and “Savory, scrumptious, succulent!”. So when a terrifying Allosaurus sneaks up on their den one night, the first two brothers are quick to run – but Stegothesaurus is so caught up with finding the right words, he is frozen in his tracks! That is until the Allosaurus responds with a collection of words of her own – turns out, she’s an AlloTHEsaurus! Looks like this is the beginning of a lovely friendship… or is it?
This one was a delightful mix of weird, wacky, funny, and sweet. The set-up is the classic story of being the odd one out, a pretty common theme in kidlit, but with a fun vocabulary-driven spin. But from there, it takes some honestly surprising and entertaining turns; I don’t say this often about picture books, but there were some twists in here that I genuinely did not see coming! The art is simple yet enjoyable, using basic shapes and saturated colors to create the characters and their environments, and adding a few bold design elements during the exciting moments. The length was good, and JJ always loves a dinosaur. A marvelous and unexpected tale, and we liked it, enjoyed it, dug it. Baby Bookworm approved!
(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)