- Super Saurus Saves Kindergarten by Deborah Underwood
ISBN 978-1-4231-7568-1 $16.99Ad 4–7 yrs
Arnold, an exuberant young stegosaurus-esque dino, is worried about kindergarten, even though his friend tries to convince him that it’s a lot of fun. It seems his instincts are valid as he spends the first day of kindergarten navigating through perilous seascapes in a submarine and flying to outer space to fend off his nemesis, Zorgo the Evil Genius—also known as kindergarten teacher Mr. Zachary. Arnold’s inventiveness is appealing as he’s bound by neither imagined villain nor the limitations that come with the structure of a classroom setting. While other kiddosauruses are already accustomed to class rules, Arnold refuses to be wrangled because he’s Super Saurus (“No kindergarten in the universe can hold me”). Acrylic illustrations reflect Arnold’s vibrance as they often switch from the ordinary to extraordinary, and the vertiginous perspectives create scenery that aptly represents Arnold’s high emotions. Unfortunately, the multiple loud and supersaturated tones fight for attention [End Page 472] in the garish spreads, and the overbusy compositions are dizzying. However, Mr. Z, whose superpower is unshaken patience, doubles as a positive role model for educators as he responds to Arnold with gentle direction without stifling him into obedience, and kids will agree that rules, though necessary, are no match for a dino-sized imagination.