Subscribe to The Horn Book

Review of We Don’t Eat Our Classmates

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates
by Ryan T. Higgins; illus. by the author
Preschool, Primary    Disney-Hyperion    48 pp.
6/18    978-1-368-00355-1    $17.99

The first day of school is tough enough; imagine you’re a wee Tyrannosaurus rex and it turns out that your classmates are, of all things, human. Penelope Rex does what any nervous dino would do: she eats the children, thereby eliminating the source of her anxiety and enjoying a delicious meal in the process. Although, obeying teacher Mrs. Noodleman’s orders, Penelope soon spits out the (be-slimed) kids, they are understandably wary of her. Desperate to prove herself friend-worthy, Penelope calls on her powers of restraint, with limited success (“Mrs. Noodleman, Penelope ate William Omoto again!”). She only recognizes her folly when the class goldfish takes a bite out of her finger: “Once Penelope found out what it was like to be someone’s snack, she lost her appetite for children.” Higgins builds his soft-around-the-edges cast out of dinosaurishly lumpy-craggy art. He is clearly having a ball, parodying parental-advice tropes (Penelope’s dad: “Sometimes it’s hard to make friends…Especially if you eat them”) while sending the message that fitting in is, although frequently difficult, almost always — eventually — 
possible.

From the September/October 2018 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

About Nell Beram

Nell Beram is coauthor of the young adult biography Yoko Ono: Collector of Skies (Amulet/Abrams), which made the 2014 Amelia Bloomer Project list and YALSA’s 2014 Outstanding Books for the College Bound list.

Share
Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind

*