A dinosaur in the throes of an identity crisis grapples with questions of nature vs. nurture in this moving tale of unconditional familial love.
Gentle, vegetarian mother Maiasaura tenderly nurtures both her own egg and one she stumbled across in the forest. Startled when it hatches to reveal a T. Rex and fearing the trouble that will come when the baby grows up, she at first attempts to abandon the infant, only to melt when he calls out plaintively to her. Naming her carnivorous adoptee Heart in an attempt to cultivate his softer side, she raises the two as brothers. While out searching for berries, Heart one day encounters an adult T. Rex who forces him both to face the shocking truth of his origins and to make a decision about his future. Which matters more: his biology or the ways of the only family he has ever known? How will Heart reconcile the seemingly irreconcilable? Miyanishi’s simple illustrations, predominantly in yellow and green with thick black outline, effectively convey a range of emotions, including grief, longing, remorse, and affection. Readers of all ages will be able to engage with this book with varying degrees of insight.
Beneath this deceptively simple tale of ancient reptilian family life lies a story of surprising complexity and contemporary relevance. (Picture book. 4-8)