News from the Tennessee Valley Living Today

Mickey, Dinosaurs good fit for children
MICKEY MOONBEAM. By Mike Brownlow. Bloomsbury, 26 pages, $16.95, hardcover.

Jenny Morris
Special to THE DAILY

Mike Brownlow is a fine artist who also writes a good story. "Mickey Moonbeam" is evidence of both.

Brownlow uses outer space as a backdrop for a simple story with no tiresome explanations. Friends meet. One of them needs help. The plot resolution celebrates things small and seemingly weak. And the big guy is grateful.

The simplicity of the plot is enhanced with Brownlow's wonderful illustrations, and the tone and characters in the book make it a good fit for 4- to 7-year-olds.

TROUBLE AT THE DINOSAUR CAFÉ. By Brian Moses. Walker, 26 pages, $16.95, hardcover.

"Trouble at the Dinosaur Café," by Brian Moses, is full of likeable, colorful characters. They order, they eat and enjoy themselves. Trouble doesn't start until T-Rex shows up and points out which diners he wants added to his stew for dinner.

Garry Parsons' illustrations capture the fear and consternation of each herbivore as he realizes T-Rex's intentions. With the help of a horn-wielding triceratops, the dinosaurs work together to convince T-Rex he'd rather dine somewhere else.

This short story is told in rhyme, and the different font sizes make the text more interesting for the listener who is following along with the book.

The burst of violence that counters T-Rex's threats is short-lived, and leads to a well-intentioned tickling bout.

With the colorful illustrations and playful ending, "Trouble" is enjoyable for the preschool to second-grade listener.

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