Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug

Jonathan Stutzman, illus. by Jay Fleck. Chronicle, $15.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-4521-7033-6
In this series opener, tyrannosaur Tiny has a problem: his best friend, stegosaurus Pointy, is sad, and Tiny’s wee arms make it difficult to offer solace through a hug. His father suggests that math might be the solution (“Rexes are thinkers, not huggers”); his aunt, mid-yoga-pose, recommends “balance and freshly squeezed cucumber juice”; and his mother assures him that he’s good at other things. His siblings, thankfully, offer some sensible advice: “To do the impossible you must plan and practice.” Tiny embraces their approach, mapping out an elaborate strategy, training, and hugging everything from a flower to an ice cream cone to a cactus (“I will not practice on that anymore,” Tiny declares about the latter). Finally, mistaking a pterodactyl leg for a tree, Tiny ends up flying through the sky and discovers that “tiny” is all a matter of perspective. Debut author Stutzman includes plenty of dry humor in his simple sentences, which Fleck extends to great effect in comic retro scenes that recall the illustrator’s work in Tilly & Tank. Readers will root for bighearted, small-armed Tiny, making his final, “biggest” hug all the more satisfying. Ages 3–5. Author’s agent: Elena Giovinazzo, Pippin Properties. Illustrator’s agent: Kirsten Hall, Catbird Productions. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 12/10/2018
Release date: 03/01/2019
Genre: Children's
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