T Is for Terrible

T Is for Terrible

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by Peter McCarty
     
 

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I am a dinosaur, otherwise known as a terrible lizard.
I do not know why I am so terrible.

From a Caldecott Medal honoree comes the story of an endearing Tyrannosaurus rex who wonders why he can't be a vegetarian

Tyrannosaurus rex is a terrible dinosaur; of this, everyone is certain. But is this dinosaur really so terrible? He IS very

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Overview

I am a dinosaur, otherwise known as a terrible lizard.
I do not know why I am so terrible.

From a Caldecott Medal honoree comes the story of an endearing Tyrannosaurus rex who wonders why he can't be a vegetarian

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 the story of an introspective dinosaur. With droll humor in both the text and illustrations, Peter McCarty shows us why dinosaurs are the obsession of children everywhere. His not so terrible. T. rex is one of the most irresistible children's book dinosaurs to appear since the Mesozoic era.

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

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Dinosaur-crazed preschoolers will adore the whimsical account of a predator's logic."—Publishers Weekly

"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 story-times."—School Library Journal

"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:
9780805074048
Publisher:
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date:
08/01/2004
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.75(w) x 8.85(h) x 0.45(d)
Age Range:
3 - 6 Years

Meet the Author

Peter McCarty is the author and illustrator of Little Bunny on the Move, Baby Steps, and Hondo and Fabian, for which he won a Caldecott Honor. He lives with his wife and two children in Upstate New York.

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