Piggie introduces the story by asking Gerald if he likes books that make you "feel things" and when Gerald confirms that yes, he does, the story begins! We first see a black and grey stone with "dinosaurs do not scratch" carved into it and a turtle sleeping below the words. A bespectacled orange-brown dinosaur, dressed in blue t-shirt and white shorts, reads the stone and is surprised to learn something new... when a triceratops happens along. When they start to scratch, the first dinosaur points out the stone and the fun begins... naturally, once they've been forbidden to do so, more and more dinosaurs show up with a desperate need to scratch! The first dinosaur is strong though - nothing will make them scratch! Not grass clippings, ants, itchy sweaters, nothing! Only one thing can make them scratch... when the turtle finally moves and the rest of the carved words appear!
Elephant and Piggie finish the story with some funny words about scratching - and friends. Pham's colorful art is sprinkled with speech balloons in different colors, including some comic panels. This title fits well into the Elephant and Piggie series, even though it's much more colorful, including backgrounds and lots of details. Emerging readers may find it difficult to follow, with the many different colors and some variety in fonts, but readers at approximately a first grade, beginning level will have no problem. It also makes a great read-aloud!
Verdict: While not a top pick for actual reading mechanics, this is certainly a top pick for fun! Beginning readers are sure to enjoy the continuation of Elephant and Piggie's adventures as well as Pham's artwork and silly story for their own merits.
ISBN: 9781368005647; Published May 2018 by Hyperion; Purchased 2 copies for the library