Tommysaurus Rex

Doug TenNapel, Author
Doug TenNapel. Scholastic/Graphix, $19.99 (144p) ISBN 978-0-545-48383-4
Reviewed on: 04/22/2013
Release date: 05/01/2013
Paperback - 108 pages - 978-1-58240-395-3
Prebound-Glued - 144 pages - 978-0-606-31965-2
Hardcover - 136 pages - 978-0-545-48382-7
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For any child, there’s little worse than having a pet die—unless, of course, one gets a dinosaur in return. After Ely’s golden retriever, Tommy, is hit and killed by a car, the heartbroken 10-year-old befriends a wayward Tyrannosaurus rex while staying on his grandfather’s farm for the summer. At first, it’s a dream come true and a much-needed pick-me-up, but the town soon labels the predator a menace, forcing Ely to train his T. rex or risk losing another pet. To make matters worse, a local bully is targeting Ely. Expanding on a story previously published in 2004, TenNapel (Cardboard) doesn’t let logic get in the way of a good time (Rex devours a herd of cattle, but doesn’t go after humans—and the dino is great at farm work, too), and he isn’t afraid to follow up a heartstrings-tugging moment with a poop joke. It’s a premise worthy of a loony Saturday morning cartoon, complete with bulgy-eyed characters that nearly bounce off the full-color pages, but underlying the fun is a potent and affecting story about facing death and growing up. Ages 9–12. (June)
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