cover image Tyrannosaurus Rex vs. Edna the Very First Chicken

Tyrannosaurus Rex vs. Edna the Very First Chicken

Douglas Rees, illus. by Jed Henry. Holt, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-62779-510-4

This is alternative paleontological history played strictly for laughs. Rees (the Uncle Pirate books) and Henry (Time for Cranberries) imagine that a T-rex that terrorized the Cretaceous is finally bested by a petite, doe-eyed hen named Edna. “I am big and fierce and you should be afraid of me,” says Tyrannosaurus. “I am small and brave and you should be afraid of me,” retorts Edna, literally eye-to-eye with him. But Edna is more than just talk: as a savvy underdog, she knows that the right tools, strategically employed—sharp beak and claws, sneeze-inducing feathers, airborne nimbleness—can rout a lumbering lout. Henry’s digitally tweaked watercolors, which have an approachable vividness reminiscent of the Land Before Time films, are rendered in radiant hues and punctuated with crowd-pleasing proclamations (“Beware my pointy claws and many feathers,” says Edna) and interjections (“Schnorch!” is the sound of a T-rex sneeze). Emily Dickinson called hope “the thing with feathers”; Rees and Henry prove that “fierce” can have feathers, too. Ages 4–8. [em]Author’s agent: Laurie McLean, Fuse Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Justin Rucker, Shannon Associates. (Sept.) [/em]