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TYRANNOSAURUS DAD by Liz Rosenberg Kirkus Star

TYRANNOSAURUS DAD

By Liz Rosenberg (Author) , Matthew Myers (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: May 10th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-59643-531-5
Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook

Who knew the favorite topics of baseball, dinosaurs and father-son relationships could come together in such a winning combination? Rosenberg and debut illustrator Myers pull it off in this impressive collaboration. Human boy Tobias eagerly awaits Elmwood Elementary Field Day, when the big game will be played. He would love for Dad—who just happens to be a Tyrannosaurus—to go, but he is always working. In not-so-subtle ways Tobias reminds his hulking father how important this is to him, but the dinosaur remains absorbed in the newspaper, swamped with paperwork and glued to his laptop. Field Day arrives, and Tobias goes alone. All seems well until the dreaded Chickenbone Gang comes, demanding to play ball. Tobias is about to take on the head bully over a rules dispute when “an unexpected voice” thunders, “I’LL UMP!” The reptile’s level-headed problem-solving and firm yet fair presence save the day. “ ‘What made you come today?’ asked Tobias. ‘Family first.’ Tyrannosaurus Dad said. ‘Work can wait.’ ” Rosenberg’s well-paced dialogue and succinct descriptions result in a most engaging read. Myers’ oil paintings truly amaze. Faces gain an almost three-dimensional expressiveness, and the spreads are rich in scene-setting detail. His reluctantly kind Tyrannosaurus is cleverly portrayed as a larger-than-life creature with a mean countenance but a warm heart. Sounds like many dads out there. (Picture book. 4-7)