by Matt Myers (Author)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

From the New York Times bestselling illustrator of Battle Bunny comes a laugh-out-loud story of a little sponge dinosaur that keeps growing...and growing...and growing....

Cole is very excited about his new Dino-Gro toy. He can't wait for it to reach its full size! But when Dino-Gro becomes much larger than intended, Cole goes so far as to put Dino-Gro on a liquid-free diet and an exercise regimen, which don't seem to make a difference! As Dino-Gro becomes so big that he can't fit in the house, Cole learns that growing up and getting bigger can have advantages too, even if you're not a dinosaur.

For fans of Tiny T. Rex and We Don't Eat Our Classmates, this sweet and hilarious read-aloud is fun for kids to learn the importance of growing up big and strong.

Kirkus Reviews

An absorbing—and absorbent—tale of togetherness with turns both comical and dramatic. (Picture book. 5-7)

Publishers Weekly

This crisp, tightly focused comedy by Myers (the Infamous Ratsos series) offers an adorably absorbant hero and well-timed laughs. Light-skinned Cole's Dino-Gro is a tiny blue dinosaur of the variety that expands in water. Unlike others, though, this toy seeks out liquid, starting with Cole's bedside water glass, and grows unceasingly. ("What happened to you?" asks Cole. "Wet," Dino-Gro responds, wearing a shy-pleased grin.) And indeed the house is full of wet--the dog's bowl, a flower vase, a sprinkler--and the dinosaur finds it all in a slow march toward mammoth proportions. Cole's suburban parents (Dad has a sharp goatee and a solid side-eye; Mom is pregnant and serene) remonstrate, much to Cole's distress. Fortunately, the wayward blue giant soon has a chance to redeem himself. The humor comes from contrasts between big and small--as with the petite hair dryer Cole uses in an attempt to dry Dino-Gro out. The outsize pet who saves the day is a potent fantasy, and Myers's take on it underscores the way that the unexpected can be inconvenient but also offer valuable gifts. Ages 3-7. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (June)

Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

Starred Review

PreS-Gr 2--Cole is disappointed with a new toy dinosaur called Dino-Gro, because it's so little! But while he is considering the next steps, Dino-Gro jumps into a glass of water. Then the creek. The fish tank. A shower. Dino-Gro craves water, and craves growing. Eventually, Dina-Gro is too big for the house and disappears. Cole despairs of ever seeing his friend again, but in an emergency (that creeps up in the illustrations just as it creeps up on Cole) Dino-Gro arrives to save the day. Cole has pale skin, as do his parents: his father has a kind of groovy beatnik vibe and his mother is very visibly pregnant. Myers does a brilliant job of using the illustrations to tell a lot of the story. The harmonious and complementary give and take of the art and text will have readers pointing out clues and rereading for extra details. VERDICT This book feels both classic and modern at the same time. Don't miss it!--Debbie Tanner, S D Spady Montessori Elem., FL

Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Matt Myers
MATT MYERS the illustrator of the New York Times bestselling Battle Bunny, as well as numerous other children's books, including A Dog Named Doug and the Infamous Ratsos series. For more about the author, and to see a gallery of his work, you can visit him online at myerspaints.com, and on Instagram and Twitter at @myerspaints.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Random House Studio
Publication date
June 20, 2021
BISAC categories
JUV039060 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Friendship
JUV002060 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Creatures
JUV002190 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Pets
Library of Congress categories
Picture books

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