"Don't Forget Dexter" Book Review

Dexter T. Rexter, Our New Favorite Orange Dinosaur; Sponsored by Amazon Publishing

By Amanda Hollifield, Publisher Mom, January 24, 2018

As a parent do you ever have those moments where teaching your child to read is more a struggle than a pleasant experience? My oldest daughter Grace who is now ten has always been a reading maniac; reading before she started kindergarten. Now flash to my son Jackson who is our wild-spirited six-year-old, but who has never wanted to snuggle with mom to read a good children's book.

Finding a children's book that will not only capture but keep and entertain Jackson has always been a challenge. I can count on both hands the number of books Jackson has finished from the first page to the end. When I pulled out "Don't Forget Dexter" by Lindsay Ward his attention was immediately drawn to the cute, orange dinosaur on the front cover. I would be lying if I said it was smooth sailing as he struggled through some of the contractions and harder words (I deleted those video clips of him getting frustrated). But, that is part of the learning process and even through the struggles, Ward did an amazing job using Dexter T. Rexter to keep Jackson plugged into his story. 

I noticed that with each page flip, Jackson was drawn to the child-likeness illustrations before his eyes met the first word. He noticed Dexter T. crying in one of the pages when he realized he was now a lost toy. Finding an emotional trigger in a children's book is rare and Ward is able to pull those emotions out of any child at heart. Jackson looked at me at one point and asked if Dexter was cut-out of paper and I asked why and he replied, "He has notebook paper on him." I never noticed that detail until Jackson pointed it out. 

Dexter asking the reader questions reinforces their attentiveness. From the first page, Dexter asks the reader "Can you help me," and the heart-string pulling "What if he left me here on purpose" and "What do you mean, maybe he likes something more...than me?"

Have you ever thought of what as a parent you want from your child's books? Creative pictures, a good mix of easy and challenging words, a teaching point, maybe even a life lesson. Ward delivers all of the above and more in "Don't Forget Dexter." She flips the typical storyline and gives us the perspective of the lost toy that has been forgotten by his owner. At the end of the story, Jackson and I talked about his toys and has he ever done what Jack did and forgot about a toy. He nodded and yes with a heavy face. I think it's the first time he thought about his toys and how he takes (or doesn't take) care of them. Do any of them feel like Dexter? Some parents may think I'm "reading" too much in this, but developing children's emotional triggers is so important to me. I want my kids to learn compassion, empathy, and responsibility and Ward's Dexter T. Rexter is the first book in a long time that helped me as a parent teach and grow my children's emotional capability.

Jackson's favorite part was Dexter singing his song to help Jack find him. He even raised his voice to sing louder with Dexter on the following page. I don't want to forget about Grace. She read the book first because I wanted to get her thoughts as an older child. While reading she also noted the illustrations, laughed when Dexter fell in the aquarium, sang Dexter's song with him and even did the sound effects with every stomp, chomp, and roar. Dexter encouraged the imaginative spirit in Grace which let's face it is something tricky for preteens!

We are so excited to add "Don't Forget Dexter," the first book in a brand new series, to our bookcase and encourage you, our readers to check him out on Amazon Publishing and bring your own hard copy of Dexter home to your family. 

We can't wait for the next book in Lindsay Ward's series and maybe even a stuffed Dexter?!

Bring "Don't Forget Dexter" home today by visiting

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