Kind treatment reforms a prehistoric bully in this dino bromance from Japan.
Still looking a lot like a saw-backed Godzilla in Miyanishi’s high-contrast orange-and-blue illustrations, the T. Rex first met (on this side of the Pacific) in You Look Yummy! (2015) falls off a cliff into the ocean while meanly chasing a herd of little styracosauruses. Just as he’s about to drown, along comes flippered, long-necked Elasmosaurus to boost him out of the water and, like a nurturing mammal, tenderly lick his injuries clean. As the two become fast friends, not only does T. Rex guiltily deny to Elasmosaurus that he’s a bully, he actually changes his behavior toward former victims too. When Elasmosaurus is beaten up (a “nasty dinosaur in the ocean” bites him all over), Tyrannosaurus ultimately effects a rescue in return. Confessing his true nature, he then makes a promise: “I will take care of you and help you get better. And we will be together forever and ever.” “Forever and ever,” Elasmosaurus affirms, as the two embrace tightly in the closing scene. Such demonstrativeness in male-male friendships is decidedly uncommon in American literature; to see the sentiment in a book with such muscular illustrations (and protagonists) is something of a cognitive disconnect that may cause more than one reader to reconsider assumptions.
Dinosaurs have feelings too. (Picture book. 6-8)