When your best friends are dinosaurs, starting school can present a challenge, as Ally discovers in Richard Torrey’s new book, ALLY-SAURUS & the first day of school! (Sterling/May).

It certainly never occurred to Ally that school would mean she couldn’t take her stuffed dino companions with her, or that her mom would insist she leave her own dino tail at home. Then, when she gets to school, Ally’s just amazed to discover kids there prefer princesses, astronauts, pirates -- and even lions, to dinosaurs.There’s not one roaring Tyrannosaurus-lover in the lot! Except, of course, Ally.

Torrey’s ALLY-SAURUS & the first day of school will be familiar to any adult who’s marveled at the power of an imaginary tiara to turn a preschooler into a princess, or a strapped-on tail to change a shy toddler into a ferocious beast. 

As Torrey found with his own children, “it may look like ‘playing’ but it is serious business.” ALLY-SAURUS speaks to “the tribulations and triumphs associated with a child’s first experience with making new friends-and the bravery that is required. For many children, the first day of school is the first time they realize the universe does not in fact revolve around them. It can come as quite a shock to discover that not every child thinks and acts the way they do.”

Torrey’s use of black and white to draw the “real” Ally and crayons to show her imaginary scales, tail and dino friends – and the make believe worlds of her schoolmates -- shows what children know all too well – that both co-exist and that the imaginary world can be wonderfully colorful and fun, for those who can see and explore it. 

Richard Torrey, is the author/illustrator of fourteen books and illustrator of dozens more. He first made a name for himself as a cartoonist for King Features and Creators Syndicate with comic strips Hartland and PETE AND CLETE published internationally. Inspired to pursue illustration after meeting Peanuts creator Charles Schultz at a pro-hockey game when Torrey was in elementary school, Torrey went on to have his own top-selling line of greeting cards at Recycled Paper Greetings and illustrating for syndicates and a broad range of magazines including The National, Inside Sports, Kids City, and Highlights. The son of Hockey Hall-of-Famer Bill Torrey, Richard has also published kids’ sports books, and he teaches cartooning and manga art at The Art League of Long Island. 

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ALLY-SAURUS & the first day of school| Written & Illustrated by Richard Torrey| Published by Sterling Publishing| Pub. Date: May 2015| Price: $14.95| Ages: 3-6| Hardcover/ISBN: 978-1-4549-1179-1