T Is for Terrible

( 1 )

Overview

I am Tyrannosaurus Rex.
I am a dinosaur,
otherwise known as
a terrible lizard.

Tyrannosaurus rex is a terrible dinosaur; of this, everyone is certain. But is this dinosaur really so terrible? He IS very big and very hungry. True, he might even eat his neighbors for lunch. ...

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Overview

I am Tyrannosaurus Rex.
I am a dinosaur,
otherwise known as
a terrible lizard.

Tyrannosaurus rex is a terrible dinosaur; of this, everyone is certain. But is this dinosaur really so terrible? He IS very big and very hungry. True, he might even eat his neighbors for lunch. But from his point of view, he can’t help it. After all, he’s not a vegetarian . . .
 

T Is for Terrible is a 2005 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

A tyrannosaurus rex explains that he cannot help it that he is enormous and hungry and is not a vegetarian.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Dinosaur-crazed preschoolers will adore the whimsical account of a predator’s logic.”—Publishers Weekly

“The artwork glows with warmth and vitality . . . beautifully formatted and well-conceived . . . It has just a hint of scariness, with a bit of humor thrown in—exactly right for the youngest dinosaur fans. A small book, but one that should be very welcome in storytimes.”—School Library Journal

“The delicacy of the illustrations underscores [the dinosaur’s] wistful, carnivorous plight.”—New York Times Book Review

From The Critics
"If I could, I would be a vegetarian," says a T-rex, drawn sympathetically in soft pencils by McCarty, a Caldecott Honor winner. In one scene he colors the dino a fetching shade of rose: "Would I be so terrible if I were pink?" the apologetic beast wonders. (Ages 2 to 4)
Child magazine's Best Children's Book Awards 2004
Publishers Weekly
McCarty, creator of Hondo and Fabian, crafts an ominous T. rex tale, whose title refers to the word "dinosaur," meaning "terrible lizard." "I do not know why I am so terrible," confesses the hulking narrator, whose smooth blue-gray back is lined with delicate blood-red stripes. When herbivores scatter at his presence, the T. rex frowns with disappointment-but it is unclear whether he is lonesome or peckish. "I cannot help that I grew so enormous and so enormously hungry," he sighs. He expresses poignant misgivings for his appetites but makes no apologies: "If I could, I would be a vegetarian. But I am Tyrannosaurus Rex, and I do not eat trees." Without warning-in a wordless spread that sets all hand-wringing aside-he rampages into the airy green brush with his toothy mouth agape, sending smaller lizards diving for cover. McCarty plays the T. rex's reasoned comments against its bloodlust, creating a sociopathic hero. Older readers could find the first-person perspective troubling, because it makes "I can't help it" seem a valid excuse. The soothing visual style, all ethereal pencil lines and tissue-thin veils of color, enhances the irony too. Dewy white flowers glow as the T. rex crushes them under his clawed, three-toed feet, and the sinuous dinosaur might seem sympathetic if not for those intent beady eyes. Dinosaur-crazed preschoolers will adore the whimsical account of a predator's logic, and McCarty's impressive, diaphanous art helps make up for ambiguities in the narration. Ages 3-6. (Aug.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Poor Tyrannosaurus Rex! He has had almost too much publicity as a terror. But here he tries, in simple language and easy-to-read large type, to explain himself. He really can't help being so large and frightening. After all, he was born, had a mother, and grew up much like the rest of us. It's not his fault that he is so hungry and can't live without eating meat. He seems really sorry to be so "terrible." The white pages frame fine pencil drawings, almost like air-brushed images. The focus, often in close-up, is our Rex, with occasional minor characters. Unlike most books that show a violently threatening creature, this combination of tongue-in-cheek, soft-spoken text and smoothly modeled naturalistic portrayal presents a humanized dinosaur destined to be "so terrible" by some unkind fate. 2004, Henry Holt and Company, Ages 3 to 6.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-K-This picture book begins, "I am Tyrannosaurus Rex. I am a dinosaur, otherwise known as a terrible lizard." The creature continues to reflect on its own identity: "I do not know why I am so terrible." As the carnivore frightens other dinosaurs away, it wonders, "Would I be so terrible if I were pink?" In the end, it concludes: "I am Tyrannosaurus Rex- I cannot help that I am so terrible." Muted pencil-on-watercolor-paper drawings delineate a toothy but not too ferocious-looking beast with short front legs and a bemused expression (until the very end when it chases its dinner). Filled with textured lines and soft shading, the artwork glows with warmth and vitality. This beautifully formatted and well-conceived offering has creamy ivory pages that frame the subtle illustrations and spare text. It has just a hint of scariness, with a bit of humor thrown in-exactly right for the youngest dinosaur fans. A small book, but one that should be very welcome in storytimes.-Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312384234
  • Publisher: Square Fish
  • Publication date: 9/2/2008
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 778,645
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.80 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter McCarty is the author and illustrator of Little Bunny on the Move, Moon Plane, the Caldecott Honor book Hondo and Fabian (available from Square Fish), and Fabian Escapes, his newest book from Holt. He is also the the illustrator of several other books, including Night Driving and Frozen Man. He lives with his family in upstate New York.

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Customer Reviews

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