Tuesday, September 27, 2016

If a T. Rex crashes your birthday party by Jill Esbaum, illustrated by Dasha Tolstikova

You might think having a T. Rex at your birthday party would be awesome.

You would be wrong. First, he's huge. Second, he's scary. Then there's all those teeth (which he's never brushed), those little arms (not so good for playing games), not to mention his temper. And he's never learned that you don't touch the birthday boy's toys!

But in the end, when he hugs you with his little arms, you know you want him back next year, even if you do have to hide your toys....

I'm not sure how I feel about these pictures. I like parts of them - the striped tights on the dark-skinned girl throwing water balloons at the T. Rex, a curious green turtle, the brightly colored dinosaur pinata. But overall the pictures just didn't click for me. There's too much white space and the style is too abstract for my taste.

I also found the story baffling. The dinosaur basically behaves like a naughty toddler and so it doesn't make sense the kids would want him back. Parents, sure, but this isn't a "I'll love you no matter what" type of book. There are both longer chunks of text that will need an older child to appreciate them but also a very young feel to the book, in the T. Rex basically having a tantrum.

Verdict: Dinosaurs and birthdays are both popular subjects, but this doesn't combine them well. An additional purchase.

ISBN: 9781454915508; Published 2016 by Sterling; Review copy provided by publisher

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