Although When Dinosaurs Came With Everything by Elise Broach can leave younger kids scratching their heads over the ending, this is still an excellent read aloud, use your best funny voices book. It's the story of a young boy and his mom who find that every place they visit on their typical errand day is giving out free dinosaurs. Real ones. Big ones. Naturally, mom is a little concerned about how to feed these mammoth animals (pun intended) and where to keep them. Her son is just eager to keep growing his collection. Only when she is seen carrying more donuts do we realize that mom is going back for more 'free' dinosaurs and has accepted them into the family.
We came across this book at the library in the new section and it has rapidly become a stable at bedtime. My daughter enjoys identifying the different dinosaurs (also check out books by Bernard Most and Jane Yolen for more picture books on dinosaurs, and see my Bernard Most review here) and running her fingers along the illustrations. These pictures, by the way, are not your average black and white outlines of dinosaurs. Nor are they drawn to give you the warm fuzzies (yet the pictures are not exactly frightening, either). Instead, you see the stegosauraus, the triceratops, and yes, the menacing tyrannosaurus rex, in rough skin detail outside the donut shop, the movie theater and the diner.
My favorite parts are the mom's reactions every time they are given a new dinosaur. At one point she is marooned on the floor, mouth hanging open, in fright and disbelief. A very fun read!