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Children who have not already developed some basic literacy practices when they enter school are three to four times m... More

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Author: Steven Kroll

Illustrator: S. D. Schindler

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Publisher: Marshall Cavendish Children's Books,

Material: hard cover

Summary: A group of friends at school decide to create a story together. They go around the circle and each friend adds a little bit to the story. What they weave is an adventure with a Tyrannosaurus Rex that runs through the city, on a bus, and through an amusement park with all the kids tagging along for the fun! This picture book encourages kids to imagination and be creative together.

Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, playtime reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 6; read yourself: 8 to 10

Interest Level: 3 to 8

Reading Level: 3

Age of Child: Read with boys ages 4 and 6.

Young Reader Reaction: My 4 year old LOVED LOVED LOVED this book. It was colorful and filled with action. There was PLENTY to see and investigate on each page - the illustrations are rich and packed with goodies.

Adult Reader Reaction: I did not like this book. I loved the concept of working together to build the story. However, most of the text was spent repeating the names of the 12 kids (building from 1 name to 12 as the story went on), when I would have much preferred to have been told a story. If you are using this story to teach kids a game at the beginning of the school year (or camp, etc.) to get the kids to learn each others' names, then this is perfect. If you are trying to teach kids how to work together to build a story, then they are going to build very bland stories indeed. I give kudos to the illustrator, who puts intense detail and creativity into the illustrations, and I appreciate the diversity in the skin tones of the 12 children.

Pros: Rich illustrations and a wonderful concept give readers plenty to enjoy.

Cons: The "dead" portions of the story where names are repeated instead of plot being developed.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. A fun read, worth a trip to the library. But not worth reading over and over and over again.


Educational Themes: Use this picture book as a launch for discussions on how to work together as a team to create a work of art, as well as how to think up games to occupy yourselves instead of complaining you are bored.

Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, animal characters, dinosaurs, humor

Date(s) Reviewed: April 2012

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