MAMA REX & T by Rachel Vail


Homework Trouble
by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 8
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Any parent who has suffered through the last-minute madness of preparing school projects will smile at the premise of this transitional easy reader, part of a new series from Vail (The Horrible Playdate, p. 964). Dinosaurs Mama Rex and her son, T (as in T. Rex), have to race around town to complete the diorama project that little T forgets to mention until the day before the due date. Mama and T rush to the library, the museum, and the park for ideas and supplies, before creating a pig diorama, with a paper pig installed in a container of mud. Vail effectively captures the dynamic of a reluctant student and a well-meaning parent, as well as incorporating useful research strategies through their library and museum visits. The text has a droll sense of humor that integrates well with Björkman’s appealing, loose watercolors of the dinosaurs, which apparently are the only holdovers of their kind in the modern world of a large city. The diorama project, library visit, and reference books, and a map-like illustration of the museum visit all have clear (but unobtrusive) connections to the classroom, and librarians will like the one who cheerfully helps T, although she then checks out his books with her “magic wand.” This will work well as both a transitional easy reader and as a read-aloud in the early grades, especially before those inevitable diorama projects are due. (Easy reader. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-439-40628-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2002


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