A towering T. Rex finds himself serving as an impromptu daddy in this Japanese import.
Primed to snap up a hypercute Ankylosaurus hatchling, the drooling Tyrannosaurus is utterly befuddled by its adoring “Daddy!” and “I wanna be big JUST LIKE YOU.” He’s so thrown that he finds himself defending the tyke from another predator’s attack and even choking down the berries that the little grass-eater eagerly brings him each morning. The Tyrannosaurus looks more like a stylized Godzilla than a recognizable dino in the simply drawn pictures, but his toothy fierceness and the extreme size differential between him and tiny “Yummy” ably capture the episode’s essential features. Bold lines and strong color contrasts (plus the odd exploding volcano) give the prehistoric landscape plenty of visual appeal too. But Miyanishi opts for a trite conclusion to the relationship, as despite its insistence that they will be together forever, no sooner does the Ankylosaurus happen upon a pair of adults of its own kind than it switches allegiance. At least he doesn’t get eaten, as happens in such other predator-prey stories as Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross’ Tadpole’s Promise (2005) or Jeff Mack’s Frog and Fly (2012).
Prehistoric parenting, likely to elicit a chuckle or two despite the blandly conventional ending. (Picture book. 5-7)