Cover image for The most amazing dinosaur
The most amazing dinosaur
Stevenson, James, 1929-2017.
First edition.
Publication Information:
[New York] : Greenwillow Books, [2000]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Wilfred the rat stumbles into a museum, where he befriends the animals living there and enjoys the many exhibits.
Reading Level:
AD 180 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.8 0.5 40218.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.8 2 Quiz: 22845 Guided reading level: M.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Clearfield Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Collins Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Eggertsville-Snyder Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Hamburg Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Hamburg Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Lake Shore Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Lancaster Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Lancaster Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Williamsville Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Audubon Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Central Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books

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Wilfred the Rat has found the perfect place to sleep for the night--a big stone building with all the comforts: dinosaur bones, stuffed elephants, and a cafeteria full of tasty sandwiches and pies. "Welcome to the museum!" say unofficial residents Prichett, Leo, Harry, and Buxton. But Mr. Thrawl, the museum director, has other ideas about uninvited guests...until he sees what they can do to earn their keep!

Author Notes

James Stevenson was born in Manhattan, New York on July 11, 1929. He graduated from Yale University. He was a reporter from Life magazine before being hired by The New Yorker in 1956. He drew 1,988 cartoons, 79 covers, and wrote and illustrated articles including Talk of the Town pieces for the magazine. He also drew editorial cartoons for The New York Times and in 2004 began an occasional series for the Op-Ed page entitled Lost and Found New York, which looked back on people and places of the past.

He wrote and/or illustrated more than 100 children's books including Don't You Know There's a War On, The Worst Person in the World, Higher on the Door, The Mud Flat Olympics, Yard Sale, The Mud Flat Mystery, What's Under My Bed, That Terrible Halloween Night, and Worse Than Willy. In 1987, he won the Caldecott Honor for When I Was Nine. He also wrote novels and an illustrated biography of Frank Modell, a fellow New Yorker cartoonist. He died of pneumonia on February 17, 2017 at the age of 87.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 4^-8. On a snowy night, Wilfred, a nattily dressed rat, takes shelter in a natural history museum. At first, he's alone and scared of the towering skeletons, but then he meets some rowdy, lovable animals in residence who give him a tour, including a nap in Africa (a diorama), a cafeteria feast, and the animals' own exhibit of "bottle caps, acorns, dried leaves, lost mittens, and toys." When the animals accidentally collapse a dinosaur skeleton, they are discovered and tossed out by the uptight museum director. Happily, they are able to reassemble the bones in such a fabulous, creative way that the museum inspector invites them back in and offers them jobs. Illustrated in Stevenson's usual endearing pen-and-ink and watercolor washes, the story is full of humor and gentle suspense and written in language beginning readers can tackle. Children fascinated by the notion of camping out in a museum but too young for E. L. Konigsburg's From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (1972), will enjoy this vicarious adventure. --Gillian Engberg

Publisher's Weekly Review

Stevenson (the Mud Flat books) is at the top of his form in this wry, whimsical story. Wilfred the rat pedals into town one night without a place to say, and ends up taking refuge in a huge stone building that turns out to be a natural history museum. Meeting a quartet of live animals amid the dinosaur skeletons, stuffed elephants and apes and so on, Wilfred learns to raid the cafeteria, play hide-and-seek among the exhibits and avoid Mr. Thrawl, the head of the museum. But on his second night, Wilfred and his new friends accidentally collapse a dinosaur skeleton. Mr. Thrawl panics, because "inspectors" are due the following day. By the time they arrive, the dinosaur skeleton is again intact and, much to the inspectors' delight, it is balancing gracefully on one leg, leading them to proclaim the museum "the best they had ever inspected." Cleverly, the author leaves gaps for kids to fill in: they don't see Wilfred and pals reassembling the toppled bones, but they have had an earlier peek at a dinosaur skeleton that one of the characters has built from ice cream sticks. Depicting the amusing antics of his animal cast, Stevenson's watercolor and black pen pictures are every bit as animated as his text. Pure fun, all the way. Ages 5-up. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-Wilfred the rat makes an old mansion his temporary shelter on a snowy evening, only to discover that it is filled with tremendous skeletons of every shape and size. Frightened, he stumbles into an owl that explains that they are actually in a museum. Prichett introduces his new acquaintance to the other animals that live there, and they entertain each other as they explore and keep watch out for the curator, Mr. Thrawl. One evening, upon hearing his approach, the occupants hide in a dinosaur skeleton, until one wrong move brings it crashing to the ground. The squatters are kicked out of the museum as the dismayed Mr. Thrawl anticipates the ruin of his career. The next morning, however, an inspection reveals that the dismantled skeleton has been rebuilt into the rarest, most amazing dinosaur ever. The inspectors are thrilled and the curator hires the animals as his assistants. The humor and pacing of this story is absolutely perfect, with the matter-of-fact tone of the text heightened and expanded by Stevenson's quirky watercolor-and-pen illustrations. The story is saved from being one-dimensional and predictable by the fact that the museum head is a totally sympathetic character rather than a stereotypical villain and that Wilfred finds the need to move on to another adventure. This book is bound to please at storytime or anytime.-Tana Elias, Meadowridge Branch Library, Madison, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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