Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on April 14, 2019
Penelope Rex is surprised her classmates are all human. They’re delicious, so she eats them. The teacher makes her spit them back up, and she is frustrated that it’s tough to make friends. She even eats one kid again. And spit him back up again. It’s not until the class goldfish bites Penelope Rex that she starts to develop empathy, and a touch of impulse control.

I’ve read this now several times with my preschool aged son and first grade daughter and they love it. The illustrations are detailed and draw kids in. Penelope’s bedroom and classroom are interesting and detailed, and kids want to talk about what’s the same and different to their little worlds. She has chosen a pony lunch box and fills it with 300 tuna sandwiches. The details matter more the more times you read a book like this. And while this book is about a dinosaur, I really appreciate the diversity of students in the class. There are students who present as Black, White, and Asian and wear headscarves and a Yamaka. My daughter noticed the headscarf right away and talked about the heroine in one of her favorite books and made the connection to religious practice.

Finally, while preschoolers don’t actually eat each other, they are learning empathy and impulse control. And this book is a beautiful entry to conversations about it with kids. A perfect book for every 3-7 year-olds’ “read again and again” library. And fantastic for classroom and school libraries everywhere!
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4.9 out of 5 stars
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