I recently claimed that Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs was my favorite dinosaur book and that remains true. Edwina, the Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct by Mo Willems (Hyperion, $16.99) is a close second; although, arguably, this book is more about Reginald von Hoobie-Doobie than it is about dinosaurs. Reginald von Hoobie-Doobie. I defy you to say his name without at least cracking a smile, or snorting just a little bit. I read this book to a group of kids ranging from about 8 to 15, which is a tough crowd to find a book for, and they could not stop laughing. I could barely stop laughing. Reginald von Hoobie-Doobie. Classic. Anyway, Edwina is a lovely dinosaur, who wears a nice hat and always has a kind word for everybody. Everyone loves her. Except Reginald von Hoobie-Doobie. He KNOWS that dinosaurs are extinct and he sets out on an elaborate campaign to convince the town that Edwina SHOULD NOT be living there, or Living anywhere for that matter. Poor Reginald von Hoobie-Doobie. Everyone is so fond of Edwina that they don’t bother to pay attention. He needs a sympathetic ear. Fortunately for him, Edwina the dinosaur, who really is quite lovely, lives in his town. She’s the only one who takes the time to listen to his rather Persuasive and Loud explanation for why dinosaurs are, in fact, extinct. This book is by far my favorite of Willems’s books, which is saying quite a lot. The pauses in this story are perfect, especially the terrible moment when Edwina discovers the truth about dinosaurs. What will she do? What will she say? What has Reginald von Hoobie-Doobie done?
Surely you don’t think I’m going to ruin this for you.