Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Review: Tyrone O'Saurus Dreams by James Howe

by James Howe
Illustrated by Randy Cecil
Candlewick Press
Picture Book
32 pages
ages 4 to 8

In a follow-up to the beloved Brontorina, a young dinosaur finds unexpected support for his secret dream: to defy expectations and become a dancer.

Tyrone has a dream. But it seems like everyone else has their own dream for Tyrone. Should he be a dentist? A lawyer? A football player like his brother Johnny? None of these things make Tyrone happy. But then he meets the strongest dinosaur he’s ever seen, who inspires him to follow his own heart and become a dancer—like her. The creators of Brontorina reunite for a captivating companion story about a young dinosaur who, with a little love and encouragement, finds the courage to dance his way into his dreams.



This super, sweet dino's question of whether to follow a dream...or if it's silly...will not only touch the heart but brings along giggles and smiles. 

Tyrone has a dream, and it isn't that of his parents' or brother's. They want him to be a dentist or a lawyer or play in the Dino League. But Tyrone isn't ready to embrace his dream as he wonders if maybe they are right, after all. 

Tyrone is a dino to embrace and love. He has a caring family, who only hopes the best for him. Even his brother has only the best intentions in mind. And Tyrone is simply trying to figure things out. There's never a harsh word anywhere in the book, even when things don't quite work out. The support is genuine, and, yet, Tyrone needs time to state his true dreams because...well, it's not stated directly but the love for his family is clear. Plus, sometimes it takes time to figure things out for ourselves. And maybe, this is what makes Tyrone so easy to relate to.

The illustrations present Tyrone wonderfully, keeping the big, dino presence while giving him a slightly, awkward touch. And, as seen on the cover with the tiny arms on the back as they lift tiny weights, there's a good dash of humor, too. Everything flows together, even the odd mix of characters that come into play. I do see young readers coming back and visiting these time and again.

The text is simple enough and at the right level for the intended age group. The read glides along at a good pace, making it great for a read aloud as well as one to pick up on its own (for those more sure readers). I did burst out in a laugh even, and my kids raised their eyebrows while pulling a smile...thanks to the silly humor, which stays subtle and, yet, doesn't hesitate to suddenly take odd jumps to unexpected extremes. 

It's a super cute read with a great message...and a dino to wish you had as a friend.

And here they are...

James Howe is the author of many books for children, including the Bunnicula series and the Misfits series. He is also the author of the Houndsley and Catina books, as well as Otter and Odder, illustrated by Chris Raschka; Brontorina, illustrated by Randy Cecil; and Big Bob, Little Bob, illustrated by Laura Ellen Anderson. James Howe lives outside of New York City.

Randy Cecil is the author and illustrator of the picture books Douglas and Lucy, and has illustrated many books for children, including Brontorina by James Howe, And Here’s to You! by David Elliottand Looking for a Moose by Phyllis Root. He is also the author-illustrator of Gator and Duck. Randy Cecil lives in Houston.


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