Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Your heart cannot handle the adorableness of Tiny T. Rex!

Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug, by Jonathan Stutzman/Illustrated by Jay Fleck, (March 2019, Chronicle Books), $15.99, ISBN: 9781452170336

Ages 3-7

Tiny T. Rex wants to hug his sad friend, Pointy the Stegosaurus, but there’s one problem: he has very tiny arms! He seeks advice from his parents, aunt, and siblings, and ultimately decides that practice makes perfect: but it’s sometimes precarious!

I have been squealing about this book since I first saw it at a Book Buzz a couple of months ago. A combination of smart writing and adorable cartoony artwork makes Tiny T. Rex one of the cutest, funniest books I’ve ever read. Tiny T. Rex is every kid, from preschool age on up, who has to contend with weird adult responses to big childhood dilemmas. When he asks his new age-y Aunt Junip for hugging advice, she recommends “balance and freshly squeezed cucumber juice”, to which T. Rex responds, “That is disgusting. I will ask my mother for help instead”. Mom’s advice isn’t much more helpful; she falls back on the traditional mom answer (which I’ve used quite a few times, myself): “It’s okay if you can’t hug. You are good at many other things… You are tiny, but your heart is big!” You can almost see his little eyes roll when he responds, “I cannot hug with my heart, mother”. When T. Rex decides to take his siblings’ advice and practice, he creates a hug strategy blackboard that kids will love: he’s considering being shot out of a cannonball, parachuting into the hug, and several other hilariously adorable ways to accomplish the hug. As he starts putting his ides into practice, he learns that trial and error can be a little painful, but ultimately, that the best hugs are the ones given with all the love you have to give. The artwork is heart-exploding levels of adorable. T. Rex and his fellow family and friends are bright and bold, with bright, cheerful foliage all around them.

It’s impossible not to squeal when you first lay eyes on this book: I have a dining room full of librarians and educators that backed me up, when Chronicle debuted this at the book buzz. With a sweet storyline about compassion and determination, eye-catching graphics that kids and adults alike will love, and text that was made for storytime reading, Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug is a home run. Now, we wait for another adventure…

Illustrator Jay Fleck has a video on drawing Tiny T. Rex – invite your storytime kiddos to give it their best!

Author:

I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading (http://whatchareading.com). I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (http://www.onwednesdays.net/), where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

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