Great anti-bullying message with heartwarming characters. Teaches children to respect each other's differences. For ages 3 to 6.
Richard Torrey is an author, artist, and editorial cartoonist. He has written and illustrated eight books, including Sterling's Ally-saurus & the First Day of School; the popular Beans Baker series for Random House; and the three-book series Almost, Why? and Because for HarperCollins. He has also illustrated dozens of books for Simon & Schuster, Golden Books, McGraw-Hill, and Scholastic; had his art published in Highlights magazine, KidCity, and Inside Sports; and created a successful line of greeting cards for Recycled Paper Greetings. Richard lives with his wife and children in Shoreham, NY. You can learn more about him at richardtorrey.com.
Praise for Ally-saurus & the First Day of School:
*"Torrey nicely tackles lots of first-day issues in this
imaginative offering . . . and he does so with aplomb. Pastel
backgrounds make the multiethnic figures stand out, especially
their brightly colored imagined costumes. Ally is an empathetic
guide for young children facing their own first days, no matter
what or who they imagine themselves to be." --Kirkus Reviews
(STARRED) "The children's make-believe accouterments create a fun
visual effect, delivering bright pops of color against Torrey's
b&w pencil drawings while simultaneously demonstrating the way
children's passions loom large in their lives." --Publishers
Weekly (STARRED) "Ally is an ebullient heroine, and her
enthusiasm is infectious. Torrey's true-to-life story is matched by
his pencil, watercolor, and digital media that catch all the fun
(e.g., crayon marks denote Ally's make-believe dino spikes). The
oversize format and right-on message make this a good story hour
The tiny tot-turned-dinosaur (in her imagination) is back, this time facing a new challenge: a domineering friend. Ally, or as she likes to be called 'Ally-saurus, ' can't wait to play outside. After brushing her straight black hair into pigtails and chomping on her breakfast (things dinosaurs do not particularly like to do), she roars and stomps to meet her friends. As in the first outing (Ally-Saurus and the First Day of School, 2015) Torrey uses rough crayoned markings to signify the characters' innermost passions, an enormously effective visual device. Ally has pink dinosaur spikes down her back to go along with her pink 'ROAR!' Her friend Kai dances across a grand stage (the porch) in a purple top hat and tails, shouting, 'TA-DA!' Kai's little brother, Petey, clutches a yellow teddy and triumphantly yells, 'BEAR!' But when Maddie shows up, everything changes. Maddie likes to tell everyone what to do. She decides the group will play monsters. She will be the queen monster (with her imagined crown and shaggy suit, she is reminiscent of another youngster who likes wild rumpuses). But when it gets to be too much, Ally-saurus' 'ROARRRRRRRRRR!' protects all her friends. It gives her the courage to stand up to Maddie once and for all. All the children have paper-white skin; Maddie's hair is in a light pageboy, and Kai's and Petey's hair is close-cropped, black, and tightly curled, suggesting that they are black. A message for the bossiest of friends but also a quiet lesson in valuing differences.
-- "Kirkus Reviews"