I Am a Tyrannosaurus


“I have a gigantic head with long pointy teeth, and a great loud roar.
I’m a huge ferocious hunter. I am . . .
a Tyrannosaurus.”
A little boy pretends to be different dinosaurs–and even a baby dinosaur just hatching from his shell–until his mother joins him with a snack and plays the ...

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“I have a gigantic head with long pointy teeth, and a great loud roar.
I’m a huge ferocious hunter. I am . . .
a Tyrannosaurus.”
A little boy pretends to be different dinosaurs–and even a baby dinosaur just hatching from his shell–until his mother joins him with a snack and plays the role of mother dinosaur.

In spare words and vibrant illustrations, a young child mimics the actions of several different dinosaurs as he imagines he is one of them. After each spread showing the boy pretending, readers turn the page to find each dinosaur the boy imagines. Anna Grossnickle Hines's ability to showcase a child's perspective makes I Am a Tyrannosaurus perfect for toddlers who love dinosaurs.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This companion to I Am a Backhoe (2010) is part guessing game, part exercise in imagination. A blond boy basically gives readers a tutorial in how to pretend to be half a dozen dinosaurs, including a triceratops, velociraptor, and brachiosaurus. "I fly and swoop to scoop up fish. I am..." reads the text as the boy is seen acting out the motions, arms outstretched. A page turn reveals the answer (a pteranodon). Set against bright backdrops, Hines's digital illustrations focus on the boy, and in scenes where he appears with the various dinos, his poses mimic theirs. Kids are sure to follow suit. Ages 1–4. (July)
From the Publisher
Review, Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2011:
"Second time's also a charm for this close cousin to I AM A BACKHOE (2010)....a broadly popular topic enhanced with light brushes of fact, wrapped in family warmth and presented in a comfortably formulaic way."
Children's Literature - Suzanne Javid
The author takes the topic of dinosaurs and turns it into an easy to read format with all-around kid appeal and predictable text. A young boy pretends to be different dinosaurs, six in all. First, a tyrannosaurus followed by a velociraptor, brachiosaurus, triceratops, pteranodon and a baby dinosaur. Colorful, child-friendly digital illustrations start on the front inside cover, continue throughout the thirty glossy pages and end on the inside back cover. A wonderful addition to a family, classroom or school library. Children can't have too many books about dinosaurs, especially one in which the main character models descriptive language, pantomime, guessing games and lots of movement. Even mom is involved as she watches over him and brings him food to eat. In the dinosaur world, this mom would be a maiasaura, which means good mother lizard. The scientific names of the six dinosaurs along with pronunciations and meanings are found at the end of the story. Check out a promo trailer on the author's website, aghines.com. Join the speedy robber, arm lizard, winged toothless, three-horn face, tyrant lizard king and good mother lizard in this gem of a dinosaur book. What dinosaur would you like to be? Reviewer: Suzanne Javid
Kirkus Reviews

Second time's also a charm for this close cousin toI Am a Backhoe(2010).

In this iteration it's a blond, rather than dark-haired, lad imagining himself—and posing expressively in the digitally drawn and painted pictures—as a sequence of dinosaurs. He pretends to be five named dinos and a hatchling in succession before his mother (rather than father, as previously) appears. (The dinos represented are, in addition to the titular T. Rex, velociraptor, brachiosaurus, triceratops and pteranodon.) He dubs his mother "Maiasaurus" ("That means... / good mother lizard," the child explains) before cuddling into her lap. Featuring realistic, sharply defined figures of boy and dinosaurs floating above rich washes of color, the art reflects both the imaginative play's exuberance and the narrative's patterned simplicity: "I'm not so big, with a stiff tail and little wings, but I run fast and leap, leap, leap. I am... / a velociraptor."

Not exactly a creative leap, leap, leap for Hines, but a broadly popular topic enhanced with light brushes of fact, wrapped in family warmth and presented in a comfortably formulaic way.(Picture book. 2-6)

School Library Journal
PreS-K—In this reboot of I Am a Backhoe (Tricycle, 2010), a boy describes and acts out different dinosaur behaviors. Two bright spreads of digital illustrations show him moving his whole body as he describes the reptile he has become on the first with the words "I am..." signaling a page turn and the revelation of the creature that matches his imaginings—a tyrannosaurus, followed in turn by a velociraptor, brachiosaurus, triceratops, pteranodon, and "a brand new baby dinosaur." The next spread shows the boy and his mother pretending to be dinosaurs together and describes her actions before revealing that she is a maiasaura—"good mother lizard." While Backhoe was a perfect blend of action words and physical movement, this text spends more time describing the reptiles: "I have a big collar,/and three horns/on my face./I look mean,/but I eat only plants." The boy is full of motion and children can see that he believes he is the dinosaur described, but his movements don't always relate to the text and the dinosaurs sometimes seem like separate objects rather than the projection of the child's imagination. This is a solid offering, but it lacks the originality and imagination of Backhoe.—Anna Haase Krueger, Antigo Public Library, WI
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582464138
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 7/12/2011
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Meet the Author

ANNA GROSSNICKLE HINES has been called a "sorceress of the ordinary" by The Horn Book for her ability to "touch her wand to a simple event and transform it into a delightful picture book." Anna's more than 60 books have garnered numerous honors, including the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award and the Parents' Choice Award.

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