cover image G-Rex


Teri Daniels. Orchard Books (NY), $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-531-30243-9

Eager to escape the bullying inflicted upon him by his older brother, a boy develops a large and scaly alter ego in this drab picture-book fantasy. Gregory is tired of being stomped by big brother, Mark. As he imagines how the world will be when he grows bigger than Mark, Gregory transforms into a rude, carnivorous G-Rex that takes control of the household. Once his roaring and destructive behavior drives his parents and brother out of the house, G-Rex abruptly changes his mind. He decides it's no fun being alone, and he'd rather be plain old Gregory, part of the family. Pearson's (The Awful Aardvarks Go to School) energetic watercolor scenes of a boy morphing into a dinosaur, and the family pulling up to the Pot Roast Palace drive-thru window to satisfy G-Rex's cravings add a few humorous sparks, but not enough to elevate Daniel's (The Feet in the Gym) meandering and leaden story. Closing passages depict the older boy's change of heart, but both boys' about-face seems unmotivated, and the resolution feels pat and unrealistic. Ages 5-9. (Sept.)