Tyrannosaurus Dad

Liz Rosenberg, Author, Matthew Myers, Illustrator
Liz Rosenberg, illus. by Matthew Myers. Roaring Brook/Porter, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-59643-531-5
Reviewed on: 03/28/2011
Release date: 05/01/2011
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In the "How do Dinosaurs...?" series, it's the dinosaur kids who are beastly; Rosenberg (Nobody) and Myers (Clink) turn the tables with a story about a regular kid, Tobias, whose father is a "terrible lizard." Tobias is pretty cool with this arrangement: T. rex Dad may be a lot bigger and a little gruffer than other dads, but with his love of corny jokes and backyard grilling, he fits right in. No, what bothers Tobias is that his dad is "always, always working." Myers, in one of the book's uniformly terrific images, sums up the situation by showing Tobias tucked into bed, while Dad, still wearing his office clothes (an ill-fitting button-down shirt and tiny tie) is in the moonlit backyard, working on his laptop. Will Dad get his priorities straight in time for Field Day at Tobias's school? Despite some well-played lines that hit their comedic marks, the storytelling sometimes slackens, and the mood can feel like it's teetering between bittersweet and depressed. But the premise shines through, thanks to Myers's saturated, sculptural musings on what happens when Cat's in the Cradle meets Jurassic Park. Ages 4–6. (May)
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