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We Don't Eat Our Classmates
Contributor(s): Higgins, Ryan T., Higgins, Ryan T. (Illustrator)
ISBN: 1368003559     ISBN-13: 9781368003551
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
    OUR PRICE: $16.20  
Product Type: School And Library
Published: June 2018
Annotation: When the class pet bites the finger of Penelope, a Tyrannosaurus rex, she finally understands why she should not eat her classmates, no matter how tasty they are.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Tyrannosaurus rex; Fiction.
Dinosaurs; Fiction.
First day of school; Fiction.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Creatures
- Juvenile Fiction | School & Education
- Juvenile Fiction | Humorous Stories
Dewey: [E]
LCCN: 2017036131
Academic/Grade Level: Kindergarten, Ages 5-6
Book type: Easy Fiction
Physical Information: 12.25" H x 9.25" W x 0.25" (1.10 lbs)
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s):
Ryan T. Higgins ( is the author and illustrator of the New York Times best-selling Mother Bruce, which received the E. B. White Read-Aloud Award and the Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Honor; Hotel Bruce; BE QUIET!; and Bruce's Big Move. He lives in Maine with his wife and kids and lots of pets.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2018 #5)
The first day of school is tough enough; imagine you're a wee Tyrannosaurus rex and it turns out that your classmates are, of all things, human. Penelope Rex does what any nervous dino would do: she eats the children, thereby eliminating the source of her anxiety and enjoying a delicious meal in the process. Although, obeying teacher Mrs. Noodleman's orders, Penelope soon spits out the (be-slimed) kids, they are understandably wary of her. Desperate to prove herself friend-worthy, Penelope calls on her powers of restraint, with limited success ("Mrs. Noodleman, Penelope ate William Omoto again!"). She only recognizes her folly when the class goldfish takes a bite out of her finger: "Once Penelope found out what it was like to be someone's snack, she lost her appetite for children." Higgins builds his soft-around-the-edges cast out of dinosaurishly lumpy-craggy art. He is clearly having a ball, parodying parental-advice tropes (Penelope's dad: "Sometimes it's hard to make friends…Especially if you eat them") while sending the message that fitting in is, although frequently difficult, almost always—eventually—?possible. nell beram Copyright 2018 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2018 April #3)

Children do get eaten in this new story by Higgins (Mother Bruce), but only temporarily. Consumed by a young, extremely cute T. rex named Penelope, they emerge unharmed (although goopy and justifiably annoyed) after Penelope's teacher tells her starchily to spit them out. Penelope has just started school, and eating is a preoccupation; her school lunch is "three hundred tuna sandwiches and one apple juice." She's startled to find out that her classmates are all children, "So she ate them. Because children are delicious." Understandably, this makes it difficult for her classmates to trust her. It takes an encounter with a hungry goldfish to teach Penelope how it really feels to be eaten. Despite the fact that she's a ravenous carnivore, Penelope's stuffed-animal snout, her tearful look of distress, and her pink overalls make her too adorable to dislike. It's clear that she's doing the best she can, though she does have a few setbacks ("Mrs. Noodleman, Penelope ate William Omoto again!"). Higgins once again delivers sassy dialogue, flawless comic pacing, and faith in the ability of children to learn and grow. Ages 4–8. Agent: Paul Rodeen, Rodeen Literary Management. (June)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2018 August)

PreS-Gr 1–Making mistakes is difficult, but maybe it's the best way to learn. Readers can tell from the first page that Penelope, a T-rex, is going to learn a lot at her school, where she is the only dinosaur and the other students are human. Then, "…she ate them. Because children are delicious." Mrs Noodleman insists that she "spit them out at once!" The days pass, and Penelope really tries, but the children are afraid of her. "Mrs. Noodleman, Penelope ate William Omoto again!,'" a classmate calls out. Walter the goldfish, the class pet, is not afraid, and he gives the little T-rex some of her own medicine—a chomp on the finger. "Once Penelope found out what it was like to be someone's snack, she lost her appetite for children." The narrative is simple, straightforward, and hysterical. Higgins's illustrations in graphite, ink, and Photoshop are bold and cartoonish with plenty of silly touches—a single sneaker hanging by its lace from Penelope's mouth, the slime-covered classmates that Penelope spits out at her teacher's command, the T-rex at the bottom of the slide with her mouth a wide-open cave for the next comer will all garner a laugh. VERDICT For the times when students struggle to understand one another and when impulse control needs a little strengthening, pair this winner with Mo Willems's Edwina, the Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She Was Extinct. An appealing read-aloud selection.—Lisa Lehmuller, Paul Cuffee Maritime Charter School, Providence

Copyright 2018 School Library Journal.