cover image T.Runt!


Derek McCulloch. Image Comics, $12.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-60706-074-1

Vegrandis, the smallest dinosaur in a family of tyrannosaurs, ""often felt overlooked."" His two larger siblings beat him to dinner, regularly step or sit on him and exclude him. And his father, reading the ""Old York Times"" in his stone chair, only tells him, ""Somebody's got to be smallest. It's the law of the jungle."" But when Vegrandis saves a ratlike mammal from a group of bullies, he realizes, in a needlessly ponderous stretch of text, that although he is not the biggest, he is also not the smallest, and ""he really didn't mind being the size he was."" Robinson's action-filled illustrations take on a comic book feel with hashmarks to show movement, floating punctuation above characters' heads and speech bubbles. Likewise, the story's resolution is comic book swift-suddenly, ""a funny thing happened. Vegrandis got bigger... a LOT bigger."" Despite his enormous size, the hero treats his siblings ""very nicely, just the way he'd always wanted them to treat him."" While this didactic tale is heavy on exposition, the likeable characters and cartoons make it an enjoyable, if unmemorable, read. Ages 4-8.