Tom

Daniel Torres, Author, Julie Simmons-Lynch, Translator
Daniel Torres, Author, Julie Simmons-Lynch, Translator Viking Children's Books $15.99 (64p) ISBN 978-0-670-86665-6
Reviewed on: 03/04/1996
Release date: 03/01/1996
Paperback - 56 pages - 978-0-14-056540-9
Acrobat Ebook Reader - 57 pages - 978-1-59019-125-5
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Torres, a commercial illustrator working in Spain, evokes the sights and sounds of New York City as well as any native artist might, while courting fans of Istvan Banyai (Zoom), David Macaulay and even King Kong in this spectacularly drawn debut. His graphic-novel sensibilities are evident in fine-line architectural renderings and streamlined caricatures-of humans and of one out-of-place dinosaur. Title character Tom, a nomadic brontosaurus, navigates a free-floating green ""island"" to present-day Manhattan. After startling tourists at the Statue of Liberty (which is about his size), Tom heads for Midtown. There, he's pointedly ignored by New Yorkers, although he aggravates a traffic jam, climbs a skyscraper at lunch hour and sneezes leaves from the trees in Central Park. Wildly colorful and detailed paintings showcase Torres's technical proficiency. In one marvelous spread, Tom gets a southwestern view of the Hudson River from atop the Empire State Building; amid the city vistas, the artist's tiny, energetic cabbies, delivery boys and pedestrians suggest Where's Waldo?-meets-Tintin. Without the visual flights of fancy, Tom's story would be sorely lacking-the dino's job search, friendship with a boy named Billy and ""Prehistoric Pop""-art career seem excuses to match text with imaginative illustrations. Luckily, the pictures offset the fairly uninspired plot to a large degree. The endpapers-in which Tom checks his watch by Big Ben, relaxes in a Japanese garden and invades the Roman Coliseum-portend some international adventures. Stay tuned. Ages 3-8. (Mar.)
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