Wednesday, May 30, 2018


Open a new picture book:
DON'T ASK A DINOSAUR,  created by Matt Forrest Esenwine, Deborah Bruss & Louie Chin

post from J.G. Annino

What if...
You opened a book
About dinosaurs
And one stumbled out
And another and another....
C.  Isabel Joshlin Glaser
from "What if" by Isabel Joshlin Glaser in GOOD BOOKS, GOOD TIMES!
selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins,
with pictures from Harvey Stevenson

Dinosaurs, one after another, are
thumpingly what I experienced when I opened the gift package 
from a children's book imprint new to me, POW! in Brooklyn. 
Inside I met the characters of DON'T ASK A DINOSAUR 
by authors Deborah Bruss & Matt Forrest Esenwine (pal through Poetry Friday,)
with color-pow comics-style illustrations by Louie Chin.

Two children tackle a list:

"If you're going to plan
                           a birthday party,
stop and think it through.
                           Be careful
                           what you dare
         to ask a dinosaur to do."

This jolly story
romps around in rhyme, with the ways
significant dinosaurs that once partied on Earth,
might add mayhem to a child's
living room hee-haw.

I love how this book is clever in bringing to
the youngest read-aloud set, the famous but also
dinos, along with a specific
characteristic for each. It's fun, it's a party,
but at the same time, now I know about the one who would be a
balloon-buster, Therezinosaurus. Due to its pointy, sometimes,
three-FOOT claws, I know that (ther-uh-ZEEN-oh-sawr-us) is a non-starter,
party planning wise,
(Not that they all wouldn't be miserable helpers, but
 specifically don't task Therezinosaurus to help with stretchy air containers.)

In our own family zoo, we have a super wonderful, dino-crazy Kindergarten guy
so this book stomps, crashes, tears, off to Will in Rhode Island.

I don't know about you, but when I open a p.b. new to me,
after enjoying it, I delve deeper to see what it will teach me
about creating children's books.
With this one, I think what would result if
an editor asked me to put together a birthday theme
p.b. on dinosaurs?
I do have an imagination, but my guess, since Florida never
had dinosaurs (under water then, later the peninsula was a groundsloth sauna,
etc.) I would have gone old school dull. A party decorated with a cute
dino piñata & perhaps I would have had up on a wall, a pin- (Velcro) the-tail
on the dino station. And maybe I would have had that dino jump
off the wall, dance with the kids to music. So where is the
value added in that? Where is the inventiveness? 
Another plan - I might have had a birthday party of dinosaurs, by dinosaurs, for dinosaurs, 
with no kids in it.  Where is the fun in that.

Go show some love for DON'T ASK A DINOSAUR.
Your family, classroom, school library will enjoy a roaring
good time with it. And learn something new, too.

POW! is here, publishing books in boisterous Brooklyn.



  1. You post is so poetic, too, Jan. I have meet Matt twice at the NESCBWI Spring Conference. This sounds like a delightful new book Gotta read this as a mentor text for weaving facts into fiction.

    1. Wow, luv the the extra connections. Still hoping to meet you at some bookish, writer, word event, dear Kathy. Appreciations for your kind words!

  2. Such a refreshing and poetic post on the delightful Don't Ask a Dinosaur. Thanks for sharing this with us, Jan.

    1. A decidedly delirious dino dance, this book is, so I guess that trickled in. TY!

  3. Can't wait to read this book. Thank you, Jan, for the peek inside :)

    1. Glad you will be meeting the whole stampede, Charlotte!

  4. Oh my gosh - this looks so fun! thanks for the warnings about Therezinosauri and balloons. Perhaps they'd be better put to use at curling ribbons? or slicing fruit for the party platter?

  5. :) Clever ideas, Sue. And luv your way with pluralizing the dino!

  6. This book does sound like a rousing good time! Will have to find it and give it a little love. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Be alert for dino disturbance when you open it, Julianne :)

  7. Thanks for featuring Matt Forrest in this post, Jan. He is a talented writer and great person!

    1. Agreed! and Agreed! once more. And so glad for your visit, Michelle.

    2. Aw, thanks, Michelle! I appreciate that. And thank you too, Jan!

  8. Hi Matt!

    We appreciate your book's visit here at Group Blog & your creative team - Debora Bruss & Louie Chin.

    And I'm here to cheer for your YEAR anni with this title! BRAVO!