At last, an answer to that long-standing question: would you trust a T. rex in the driver’s seat?
Bespectacled, bescarved Rex is all too happy to show his staid and steady pal Stego all the noises his sporty roadster makes. His favorite? The honk. Alas, honking is explicitly forbidden according to copious signage and Stego’s unwavering commitment to the rules. Yet when a fire truck must make way, Rex at last lets loose with a torrent of emergency-excused honks. Lesson learned? Not even slightly. It’s fabulous to see a character with glasses depicted as the one with the impulse-control issues in a book. Rex’s charm and Stego’s worrywart concerns battle it out for dominion in the hearts of child readers. The aptly named Ferrari’s watercolors neatly capture both Rex’s joie de vivre and the madcap energy of the city. (Readers may wonder at the ease with which Stego’s plates are accommodated when he sits down, however.) The rhyming text’s scansion also works consistently, and the simple wordplay allows this to double as both a read-aloud and a text for emerging readers. A sudden right-hand turn into metafictive territory prevents the book from nailing the landing, but it’s hard to resist the sheer exuberant id of the hero and his superego stand-in best friend.
Put pedal to the metal and read this as fast as wheels will allow. (Picture book. 3-6)