Pinky and Rex and the School Play


Pinky really wants to be an actor and is sure he'll get the lead in the school play. Rex, on the other hand, wants nothing to do with being on stage. She's afraid she'll forget her lines — or worse. Everything changes when Pinky convinces Rex to go with him to the tryouts. Will Pinky and Rex still be best friends when the show is over?

Rex thinks his trip to the museum with Pinky is about to be ruined when his grumpy sister, Amanda, decides to join in. Amanda saves ...

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Pinky really wants to be an actor and is sure he'll get the lead in the school play. Rex, on the other hand, wants nothing to do with being on stage. She's afraid she'll forget her lines — or worse. Everything changes when Pinky convinces Rex to go with him to the tryouts. Will Pinky and Rex still be best friends when the show is over?

Rex thinks his trip to the museum with Pinky is about to be ruined when his grumpy sister, Amanda, decides to join in. Amanda saves the day, though, when the three decide they want the last pink stuffed dinosaur in the gift shop. Full color.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Primary students will be familiar with Pinky and Rex from their many previous adventures. Strangely, Rex is the girl character and Pinky the boy character; they are best friends who eat lunch together, talk on the phone, and share secrets. When Pinky confides to Rex about his desire to be the star in the school play he pleads with her to come give him moral support. To get out of spelling class, Rex agrees to go to the tryouts and keep Pinky company. The relationship changes when Rex innocently gets the lead in the school play. Originally written in 1998, this book covers a timely topic about allowing jealousy and selfish desires to interfere with a close friendship. A great book to use when teaching character education and helping children deal with issues of caring, friendship, and encouragement for others. A Level 3 "Ready to Read" book, it has longer chapters and more challenging vocabulary. The subtle watercolor illustrations are charming and bridge the gap between picture book and reader. The reinforced library binding by Spotlight is a bit pricey, but media specialists know that in the long run this book would survive rough handling much better than a paperback. 2006, Aladdin, $ 24.21. Ages 7 to 12.
—Ann Sanger <%ISBN%>1599610787
Children's Literature - Eileen Hanning
In this Pinky and Rex adventure, Rex gets the part Pinky wanted in the school play and their friendship suffers. Based on James Howe's experiences as a kid, this chapter book tells a compelling story set in a completely believable situation. In six short chapters Howe shows young readers both how a play gets made-from auditions to performance-and what Pinky and Rex learn about themselves and their friendship while participating in the play. Howe keeps the story moving with realistic dialog and a good dose of suspense: readers wonder if Pinky and Rex will be friends again, and if their performance in the school play will be successful. Sweet's watercolor illustrations are both effective and appealing. They convey some of the emotion and drama of the story, support the text, and break up the chapters-all of which are important elements of a well-constructed chapter book. James Howe includes a personal note at the end of this amusing story from the "Ready to Read" series.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3In this new entry in the series about best pals Pinky and Rex, their friendship is put to the greatest test ever. Pinky decides he wants to be an actor when he grows up and tries out for the lead in Davi, Boy of the Rain Forest. He convinces Rex to accompany him to the auditions for moral support. She isn't interested in acting at all. A big surprise awaits them when the cast list is posted. The play has been renamed Bahi, Girl of the Rain Forest, and Rex has the starring role. Pinky, who has been cast as a monkey, is angry with her. The two eventually realize that their friendship is much too valuable to lose, and Pinky tells Rex that she is good as Bahi. It is Pinky, however, who saves the performance from disaster. Howe fills the story with humorous scenes. Sweet's watercolors capture the action and complement the light mood. The ending, in which Pinky and Rex both order a hot fudge sundae with extra whipped cream "Because sometimes best friends just have to have the same thing," is totally satisfying.Suzanne Hawley, Laurel Oak Elementary School, Naples, FL
Kirkus Reviews
Pinky and Rex (Pinky and Rex and the Bully, 1996, etc.) return in this entry in the Ready-To-Read series, intended for emerging readers to tackle independently, with a plot to draw them in but little grace or style in the writing. Pinky wants to be the star in a school stage production; Rex isn't interested, although she attends the try-outs in support of Pinky. Predictably, Rex lands the lead; Pinky, given the role of a monkey, is mortified. In a huff, he stops speaking to Rex. Eventually, Pinky gets over his bruised ego—it doesn't hurt that he saves the play—and patches things up with Rex. Howe hits upon many sensitive issues here, from dashed hopes and inadequacy to envy and hurt feelings. He counters them with unforced forgiveness and some manner of acceptance from his characters: They may be hurt when things don't pan out, but they are open to finding something good and satisfying in the experience. Unfortunately, the language is inexorably sterile, without even the humor of previous Pinky and Rex installments. (Fiction. 6-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689817045
  • Publisher: Simon Spotlight
  • Publication date: 4/1/1998
  • Series: Pinky and Rex Series
  • Edition description: Repackage
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 159,934
  • Age range: 6 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

James Howe is the author of more than ninety books for young readers, including the modern classic Bunnicula and its highly popular sequels. In 2001, Howe published The Misfits, the story of four outcast seventh-graders who try to end name-calling in their school. The Misfits is now widely read and studied in middle schools throughout the country, and was the inspiration for the national movement known as No Name-Calling Week (, an event observed by thousands of middle and elementary schools annually. There are three companion novels to The Misfits: Totally Joe (2005), Addie on the Inside (2011), and Also Known as Elvis (2014). Howe’s many other books for children from preschool through teens frequently deal with the acceptance of difference and being true to oneself. Visit him online at

Melissa Sweet has illustrated more than eighty children’s books, including the Caldecott Honor book A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams by Jen Bryant. She also wrote and illustrated Tupelo Rides the Rails; Carmine: A Little More Red, which was a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book; and Balloons Over Broadway, a picture book biography that was named a 2011 Publishers Weekly Best Nonfiction Picture Book. When she is not in her studio, Melissa can be found taking an art class, hiking with her dogs, or riding her bicycle. She lives with her family in Rockport, Maine.

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