It’s a dinosaur! It’s a toddler! It’s Rodzilla!
A black-haired, olive-skinned newscaster narrates the story about the “soft, squishy….huge….pudgy.…RODZILLA” that goes on a rampage through the city. Rodzilla is a wide-eyed anthropomorphic dinosaur wearing a shirt emblazoned “Totally Rod.” He wreaks havoc, stomping, drooling, and sending “slime missiles” (globs of green snot) onto people and cars careening about. Then comes a “hurled…attack” after a stomachache: vomit. But Rodzilla carries on, picking up cars and buses as though they were toys, which (as many readers will have guessed by now) they are. Ultimately Rodzilla is revealed as a metaphor for the chaos toddlers can bring to a household, and the “two brave citizens” who step in to save the day are Mommy and Daddy, the latter of whom looks just like the newscaster. On the spread when they’re named, Rodzilla is revealed to be mixed-race baby Rodney, and his brown-skinned mother hoists him joyfully into the air in a room littered with toys and green splatters that evidence the destruction he’s wrought. Santat’s watercolor, pencil, and digital art is cinematic in its play with perspective, and it makes the most of the scenes’ chaos. A closing illustration brings readers to eye level with Rodney as he peers at the newscaster, now clearly a toy, and reaches for it….
Older siblings will find much to identify with. (Picture book. 4-8)