We Don't Eat Our Classmates (A Penelope Rex Book #1)

by Ryan T Higgins (Author) Ryan T Higgins (Illustrator)

We Don't Eat Our Classmates (A Penelope Rex Book #1)
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
It's the first day of school for Penelope Rex, and she can't wait to meet her classmates. But it's hard to make human friends when they're so darn delicious! That is, until Penelope gets a taste of her own medicine and finds she may not be at the top of the food chain after all. . . . Readers will gobble up this hilarious new story from award-winning author-illustrator Ryan T. Higgins.
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Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

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, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

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, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

This book is funny.

This book is funny it made me giggle like it’s hehehe

I love this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Fun to start the year!

My kids really loved this book.

Ryan T Higgins
Ryan T. Higgins (ryanthiggins.com) is an author and illustrator who likes the outdoors and cheese sandwiches. He is NOT a grumpy old black bear, but he DOES like making books about one--starting with 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. Ryan is also the author of the #1 New York Times best-selling We Don't Eat Our Classmates. He lives in Maine with his wife and kids . . . and a menagerie of pets.

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
June 20, 2018
A Penelope Rex Book
BISAC categories
JUV019000 - Juvenile Fiction | Humorous Stories
JUV002060 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Creatures
JUV035000 - Juvenile Fiction | School & Education
Library of Congress categories
Humorous stories
Picture books
First day of school
Tyrannosaurus rex

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