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G-REX by Teri Daniels


by Teri Daniels & illustrated by Tracey Campbell Pearson

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-531-30243-1
Publisher: Orchard

A little brother gets a chance to be as teasing and bullyish as his big brother in this bit of purposeless wish-fulfillment. Gregory’s older brother Mark gets all the cool stuff—and he’s not above grinding Gregory’s face in it, literally. One evening at dinner, Gregory’s clueless parents urge him to eat up to be as big as Mark. But Gregory wants to be bigger and, lo, as he tears into his steak he morphs into a monstrous G-Rex—a T-Rex of the Gregory persuasion. He starts to intimidate and threaten his family: “MORE MEAT!” He roars. “Get more meat or I eat Mark!” So they frantically set about stuffing “G-Rex” with meat. When he is sated, he commences to bully Mark: over the TV; which beds will be slept in; who will shoot the basketball. When his family finally flees next door, G-Rex gets bored, has a little fit, and transforms back into Gregory. Even though he has broken Mark’s best basketball trophy during his tantrum, the boys work out their anger and proceed to have a great time at basketball. If retribution isn’t the answer, as seems to be suggested here, then what does inspire the boys to suddenly become chummy, a situation that feels utterly unconvincing because there are no previous referents? The story isn’t messy like life, it is just aimless, and Pearson’s artwork is too frail a scaffolding to give this shapeless narrative any structure. (Picture book. 5-8)