You Can't Take the Dinosaur Home

Children - Preschool
16 Pages
Reviewed on 07/02/2013
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Michelle Robertson for Readers' Favorite

"You Can’t Take the Dinosaur Home" is written by Mary Esparza-Vela. It is a uniquely written adventurous story created for children of the preschool age. The design and layout of this book is excellent and it is loaded with colorful illustrations for a child to enjoy and follow, whether the story is read to them or they are reading themselves. "You Can't Take the Dinosaur Home" tells of a threesome group of siblings on an adventure to find a new treasure, but when the youngest doesn't find any and the other siblings do, he becomes very emotional. He becomes sad, and mad, and begins to throw a temper tantrum. I loved the way this story was told as the youngest of most families would have the same reactions and emotions of the young character described in this story. While the older siblings are busy searching for more of their own treasures, the youngest slips away to find his own, innocently. Again, a typical move of a group of siblings: the eldest not paying attention while supposed to be watching the youngest because they are too much involved in their activity, and the youngest straying off to find their own excitement because the attention isn't on them.

"You Can't Take the Dinosaur Home" portrays the attitude and emotions of a young child. It is exactly how I would imagine them to be in the situation presented in the story. The characters themselves are aliens and the special treasure the youngest sibling finds is a dinosaur. What young child at one point or another hasn't played with, watched, or read about dinosaurs or aliens? Not many. The story is a perfect match for the 3-5 year old's mind and imagination. In addition, the characters in the story have been developed into award-winning plush dolls that are also available.

Penelope Anne Cole

In You Can’t Take the Dinosaur Home, by Mary Esparza-Vela, with art by Mike Motz, we have the classic childhood conflict – “Mommy, can I bring him home? Can I keep him?” But in this case, it’s a little more complicated. Three space tots are going on a day trip to a nearby planet, which just happens to be our own ancient Earth during the time of the dinosaurs. The littlest tot, Hunee, wants to come along.

Reluctantly, his older sister, Kyzzie, and brother, Sweetz allow him to tag along, knowing that they’ll be responsible for him and what a bother that will be. Naturally, Hunee gets lost and Kyzzie and Sweetz search all over for him. Finally, they give up and wait for him to come back to them. Hunee does return, but not alone – he’s riding a young, playful dinosaur. And he wants to bring his “treasure” dinosaur home with them!

Of course, we all know that would be totally unacceptable. Little Hunee, argues with Kyzzie and Sweetz, and like many little brothers (and sisters), he throws a tantrum when he doesn’t get his way. The older tots placate Hunee by trying to get the dinosaur, part by part, into their tiny flying saucer, but he’s way too big. So they have a sulky, pouty little brother all the way home. The ending is priceless!

The art by Mike Motz, is perfect for the story. It’s simple, expressive, and upbeat – appealing and appropriate to the story. Kids will surely enjoy this colorful book. Too bad we don’t get to see the expression on the mother’s face in the end. But parents and teachers can discuss what the mother might think when asked, “Can I bring him home with me?” What would you do?

Susan J. Berger

Must read this to my granddaughter!
You Can't Take the Dinosaur Home is a delightful read. On a planet far away two children are forced to take their baby brother on their exploration adventure. Their baby brother finds a dinosaur and insists it's his treasure and wants to take it back to their home planet. The illustrations by Mike Motz are the perfect accompaniment to the simple text.
This one is a read over and over.

A Kid's Review

On a distant planet, far, far away, lived three young space tots named Kyzzie, the older sister, Sweetz, her middle brother, and Hunee, the baby.

So begins the new children's picture book You Can't Take the Dinosaur Home by Mary Esparza-Vela. The book is published by Guardian Angel Publishing.

Even on a different planet in an unknown galaxy, parental and sibling problems are surprisingly the same as here on earth.

Sister and brother are plagued by their baby brother, but he "gave them a hard time. He liked to wander off on his own and throw temper tantrums when he didn't get his way." If this sounds familiar to you, it's not surprising. Little ones being what they are, cause the same problems whichever planet they inhabit!

To compound things, enter a dinosaur. All manner of problems occur, with baby brother right in the middle of it.

A darling story, this would be terrific for all your junior space cadets out there. It is a whimsical tale of life set in outer space but with all the elements of home and family.

The characters are offered as dolls as well, a great addition to your kids' space needs!

Author Mary Esparza-Vela lives in San Antonio. Her dream has always been to write for children. She has several books published with Guardian Angel Publishing. Other writing credits include articles published in Catholic newspapers and a winning entry in a Writer's Digest Competition. Mary has won a Reader's Favorite Award for Dinosaur.

**And here is an update! Mary has just been told by Creative Child Magazine that Dinosaur has won a 2013 Book of the Year Award! Hearty Congratulations! More reason for you to run and pick up a copy of You Can't Take the Dinosaur Home With You!

Cheryl C. Malandrinos "jo

Imaginative Twist on a Classic Storyline

Young readers will be captivated by this neat story and the adorable artwork by Mike Motz. I applaud Esparza-Vela's imaginative reworking of a classic storyline (taking a pet you find home) to fit a modern audience. It's a fabulous idea.

Not only are the aliens so cute you want to pinch their cheeks, but it's hilarious watching them try to find a way to jam the huge dinosaur into their tiny spaceship and witnessing Hunee's temper tantrums as Kyzzie and Sweetz explain there is no way to get the dinosaur home. With a funny surprise ending, this book is destined to be a hit with young readers.

I received a free copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Mary Esparza-Vela

"You Can't Take the Dinosaur Home" has won two awards and is currently a finalist in a national contest. The books are also available in Spanish and more adventures are coming soon.