I was excited to see the return of Ally-Saurus,  in Richard Torrey’s new book, “Ally-Saurus & the Very Bossy Monster,” as she was a favorite in my speech therapy sessions as kids LOVED her freedom to be creative and imaginative! Now our little girl with the dinosaur spirit picks up her play in this new story as she “stomped, roared, danced and laughed” until she and her buddies were stopped by the new girl on the block. Every activity was ruled by Maddie, precluded by “You have to…you can’t …you mustn’t,” taking the fun and spontaneity out of pretend play. Finally Ally-Saurus stood up to this bossy newcomer and set her own rules that included, “any, whatever we want, and super” as they took on their dinosaur and master of ceremonies personas to prepare for an amazing monster dance. As in “Ally-Saurus and the First Day of School,” Ally bumped up against a strong personality that threatened to limit her creative spunk but turned the situation around to put the “free” back into play!  Torrey’s newest book, again provides a wonderful story to stimulate conversation about different kinds of friends, how to deal with a bossy kid, inclusion, standing up for yourself, respecting differences and more. As a speech pathologist,I find his stories inspire conversation on many levels about how to use your words to deal with a tough situation common to kids! His simple, colored line drawings adorning the characters add a visual dimension to their role play that is helpful to kids with special needs too.

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