Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dear Tyrannosaurus Rex

Lisa McClatchy; Illustrated by John Manders

I have always considered the ridiculously short arms of a Tyrannosaurs Rex to be their best feature. Those puny appendages dangling from the large body never fail to make me laugh. Although these illustrations from John Manders have made me believe there are an entire host of funny things about these guys - from their stripey bodies to their comical expressions, or the way their tongues loll out the side of their mouths as they run in a concentrated way.  All those things are scientifically proven, of course. 

With her sixth birthday quickly approaching, Erin has come to the conclusion that the pièce de résistance to her party would be if she could have a REAL dinosaur in attendance. The best way to get him to come?  She'll write a letter that describes the party in detail - the celebration will be so fun and fabulous that he won't be able to resist! The book is basically Erin's letter to T-Rex, giving him a rundown of what to expect, if he should accept her party invite.

Erin will include a map to her house, and there will be the obligatory party signs and balloons marking her street, so no worries about a dinosaur roaming the neighborhood, forlornly clutching a wrapped package. All the guests will enjoy dinosaur favors and hats to celebrate the guest of honor. The words make it seem like a standard birthday party with games, pizza and cake, but the illustrations show it to be anything but ordinary.  The dinosaur gets first crack at the pinata, the bat the size of a toothpick in his claw. He is good natured enough to give the children dino rides around the yard, help blow out the birthday candles (whew!) and allow his tail to be used as a slide.

Is Erin's letter attractive enough to lure a T-Rex to her party?  Seemed persuasive enough to me - I kind of want one at my next birthday party ....   

Review copy provided by Random House. 

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