Santa Jaws (Bridget Heos)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Santa Jaws, written by Bridget Heos and illustrated by Galia Bernstein, a fin-tastic holiday title that combines the Christmas holiday with the awesomeness of sharks.

While kids are preparing for Santa Claus up on dry land, the toothy titans of the deep are excited for their own seasonal visitor: Santa Jaws! Elfin sharks help make toys from shells and coral, cookiecutter sharks are baking up crispy and sweet treats. And on Christmas night, Santa Jaws will board his underwater sled (pulled by hammerheads), check his list, and leave gifts for all the good little shark pups – only taking a nibble of them for himself (to test them out, of course).

Jawesome, festive, fishy fun. For the bookworm who is SUPER into sharks – and we all know at least one kid who is – this is the perfect mix of holiday silliness and marine biology education. While the premise and story are a product of the imagination, the book still introduces eight different real-life species of shark, drawn cartoonishly but with anatomical accuracy; backmatter provides brief information about each one. The artwork is delightful, mixing a natural marine palette of blues, greens, and sandy whites with touches of coral and Christmas cheer. The length is perfect for a storytime, the rhyming text is fun to read aloud, and JJ really enjoyed this one. A great mix of genres that balances learning and entertainment, and we highly recommend 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.)

Stegothesaurus (Bridget Heos)

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.)