I really like the intent of Tyrabbisaurus Rex, it’s clearly meant to encourage young readers to consider different perspectives and make them laugh while doing so. I’d think that even if that wasn’t part of the pitch I got from A.J. when she sent it over to me.
To T-Rab’s credit, it does both of these things to a certain extent. The story is simple, it’s the story of a rabbit (Cuddles) and four students as they attempt to understand Cuddles, and deal with the destruction he causes in his numerous escape attempts. With the story being told from six different perspectives we usually have at least two, if not more, versions of each event in the book. And when I say two perspectives I actually mean two perspectives, not the same perspective from different characters, a real effort has gone into giving everyone unique opinions. There was one bit I liked especially with little Maria, talking about her Mexican family eating rabbits, with the rest of the class considering rabbit as never being anything other than a pet. So yes, truly different and well-defined perspectives.
However, the books greatest strengths also leads to one of its failings, there are too many perspectives. I’m not saying there should be fewer opinions, it’s nice that there are so many from a diverse little cast, but they are perhaps iterated too many times. This is a children’s book, and I consider it to be a bit overlong for young children, but a little simplistic for older children, so perhaps a shorter style would have suited it better.
That isn’t to say there are no good ideas, quite the contrary, I really liked the ideas it had. I thought the parts told from the rabbits perspective were brilliant, and the opening chapter, written in the style of a plea for rescue note to the Tyrannosaurs Council, made me laugh out loud. The writing style was simple and humorous and helped keep the focus on the story itself and the over-arching plot was a nice straightforward conflict resolution about one of the protagonists not liking the rabbit very much. So yes, good ideas, but packed in quite a bit of padding, comedy when repeated, does start to lose its charm.
The images were a nice touch, no specific joke or moment relied on them but I like a few images scattered throughout children’s books to help more visual learners keep interested, and they were cute little stylized things, with all the characters having mouths taking up about half of their heads in big friendly smiles.
In short a good book, the concept was fresh, the writing was easy to read, the ending was satisfying, socially educational and I did have a few good laughs along the way. Yes, I felt there was too much of it, but if you like to sit and read with your children then this is a title I would encourage you to try.
Tyrabbisaurus Rex doesn’t appreciate being locked in a cage. Sure it has three levels and is full of scrumptious veggies, but that doesn’t mean he’s willing to accept his fate as a classroom pet.
Ginger’s not happy about the always escaping, poopy rabbit. First, he chewed the dress her mom gave her. Now he keeps staring at her favorite hat. The demon bunny has got to go!