Ursula Dubosarsky, Author, David Mackintosh, Illustrator , illus. by David Mackintosh. Roaring Brook/Porter $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-59643-186-7

Rex, a chameleon, belongs to an elementary school class and lives in a bucket-size aquarium. After school each day, explains the girl narrator, "someone gets to take Rex home," and uses a communal classroom journal to "write all the things Rex did on his visit." Some students draw pictures rather than write in the journal, and Mackintosh (Aussie Nibble: Poor Fish ) gives whimsical renditions of what the crayon results might look like. A boy with a pool draws smiling swimmers and a giant, scaly green foot; a girl who lives in a high-rise draws a fire-breathing Godzilla climbing the Empire State Building. When the narrator anticipates taking care of Rex for the whole weekend, she fantasizes about sitting on a Tyrannosaurus rex's head to watch a movie. Australian author Dubosarsky writes open-ended comments and questions that leave Rex's true nature up to the reader. "Would Rex like a giant hamburger?" the narrator wonders, and Mackintosh pictures the girl with an ordinary lunch tray, Rex (as dinosaur) with a pile of paper-wrapped burgers. Dubosarsky never describes an actual chameleon, and in Mackintosh's artwork, Rex is seldom small, rainbow-hued or secretive. Instead, according to the pictures, all of the children fantasize about Rex not as a little lizard but as a dinosaur, albeit one that changes colors. Dubosarsky and Mackintosh have fun with one joke, but neglect the full range of possibilities that arise when a self-camouflaging creature meets a handful of creative children. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 09/11/2006
Release date: 08/01/2006
Show other formats
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-0-14-138287-6
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-0-14-150099-7
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