Regina is Not a little Dinosaur – written and illustrated by Andrea Zuill, Schwartz & Wade, 9780593127285, 2021
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5
Genre: Picture book
What did you like about the book? Even though baby Regina is a dangerous dino-predator (not), she’s still too little to accompany Mom on a hunt. Left behind, Regina practices her stalking, climbing and attack skills, all with comic results. Zuill tells this funny story with a combination of third person narration and talk bubbles; this would be a lot of fun to read aloud. Darling Regina resembles a pale green, miniature T-rex with large eyes and a plump tummy that threatens to upset her equilibrium. Dense black cross hatching gives the illustrations a lot of character and depth, and the overall palette of soft greens and browns presents the Jurassic period as a pretty friendly era. I loved the juxtaposition between full page illustrations and vignettes that showed action and telegraphed comic moments. Even very young readers will grasp the ironic play between words and images. Especially priceless: Regina running from a protomammal and sticking out her tongue as it retreats, not realizing the warm-blooded creature has just glimpsed Mom looming in the background. Adorable.
Anything you didn’t like about it? No. This is an allegorical story about wanting to be grown-up too soon. It probably won’t suit those who want actual dino-facts, although they may be won over by Regina’s cuteness.
To whom would you recommend this book? Anyone 3-8 who dreams of being a little bit bigger and slightly more competent.
Who should buy this book? Elementary schools and public libraries
Where would you shelve it? Picture books
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes
Reviewer: Susan Harari, Keefe Library, Boston Latin School, Boston, MA
Date of review: May 7, 2021