Saturday, July 20, 2013

Kid Konnection: Tommysaurus Rex by Doug TenNapel

Tommysaurus Rex by Doug TenNapel
ISBN: 978-0545483834
Published: May 28, 2013
Trade Paperback, 144 pages
Ages 9-12


When Ely's beloved dog, Tommy, is hit by a car, he goes to his grandpa's house for the summer to get his mind off things. While exploring a nearby cave one day he discovers a full-grown but friendly Tyrannosaurus Rex. As the news of the dinosaur grows around town, so does the friendship between Ely and his Jurassic pet. But Randy, the mean kid down the street, decides he's going to make life miserable for Ely and his dinosaur-to devastating effect.

Our Thoughts:

My son was ecstatic when he received this book from scholastic. He loves graphic novels and dinosaurs so this combination was perfect. He dug into it right away. About thirty pages in, he came to me all dejected, telling me the book was making him sad because the main character Ely's dog Tommy gets hit by a car and dies and then later Ely gets bullied. The fact that this novel touched my son so deeply and so quickly told me it was good, so I told him to take a break and go back to it later.

Later the same day...

My son finished the novel and couldn't stop talking about the ending. Couldn't stop talking about this book. Period. He was smiling. I could tell the bittersweet ending affected my dinosaur-loving kid. He liked the adventurous story, thought it was funny, even if it did have some really sad moments. I could tell he could relate to Ely, a cute kid who loved his pets. Tommy is even the name of my son's turtle. There was one thing my son didn't like. After the realistic emotions of losing a dog, my son said that making Ely totally unafraid, when he first encountered the T-Rex, was too unrealistic. I agreed. There was no befriending process.

As a parent, I really appreciated that Ely had good parents and a wise grandpa. They were flawed, funny and caring. I enjoyed the story too and also teared up at one point. I loved that this book dealt with several serious themes with sensitivity, interspersed with subtle humour. Some of these were: death of a beloved pet, dealing with bullies, parental separation, family unity and love, and finally forgiveness. It left my son and me with a good feeling.

We both liked the cartoon illustrations. I loved Ely's face. His expressions tugged at my heart, reminding me of my son. I can truly see the appeal of graphic novels for kids. My son loves to emulate various facial expressions and I could see why he likes graphic novels so much. He's already pointed to the back cover of the book, asking me if I could get the other books by this author.

This was a heartwarming and funny graphic novel with positive messages. Highly recommended for reluctant readers and lovers of graphic novels and dinosaurs.

Note: This book is rated C = clean read.

Reviewed by Laura & Son

Disclosure: Thanks to Nikole Kritikos from Scholastic Canada for sending us this book for review. We were not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

Every Saturday, Booking Mama hosts a feature called Kid Konnection—a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, visit Booking Mama.

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