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The Tyrannosaurus Game

The Tyrannosaurus Game

by Steven Kroll, Tomie dePaola (Illustrator)

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12 kids make up an imaginative story about a tyrannosaurus on the loose


12 kids make up an imaginative story about a tyrannosaurus on the loose

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A rainy day at school turns a dozen restless children into master storytellers. Students stare out the window at the falling rain in dismay, until the teacher suggests a game. Next thing you know, the students are sitting in a circle, crisscross-applesauce, and Jimmy begins an exciting story that begins with a Tyrannosaurus rex disrupting Saturday morning by crashing through the window. Ava picks up the thread, having the hungry dinosaur gobble up the family's breakfast. And so around the circle it goes, to Susan and Roberto and Rusty and the rest. Jason ends it with a citywide search for the creature on the loose (and there's a rib-tickling surprise on the final page). Schindler's ink, gouache and watercolor illustrations are smile-inducing, extending the simple story visually. As the story continues, spread by spread, the next teller appears in a wavy-outlined inset on the bottom right, while the action described plays out across the spread, with lots of sharp teeth and debris to fill the scene. Listeners might be induced to create their own collective yarns after seeing this one. (Picture book. 4-8)
Children's Literature - Cherie Ilg Haas
A group of classmates join together to conquer boredom on a rainy day in this charming book that uses a timeless storytelling strategy as its base. Each child takes a turn adding his or her own sentence to a story about a Tyrannosaurus, leading the reader through an eclectic journey. Although this is written at a level for which a middle reader could understand it alone, it may be best for an adult to read along and help to explain and/or literally point out why the story is written in its style, especially the beginning. Because the first person narrative changes with each of the students, it may be confusing to understand. On that note, the ending comes unexpectedly. While one would expect to be brought out of the "story within a story" with an ending that wraps it up, the reader is somewhat left hanging, as it ends within the Tyrannosaurus tale rather than the original story about the children themselves. This book, however, does provide a good example of how young readers can spur their own imaginations by using group participation and their own creativity. Reviewer: Cherie Ilg Haas
School Library Journal
K-Gr 1—On a rainy day, 12 children sit in a circle in their classroom to make up a story. Jimmy begins by telling how a tyrannosaurus crashed through the window of his house while he was eating breakfast Saturday morning. On successive spreads, each child adds to the story with a sentence or two that sends the hapless dinosaur on a chaotic chase onto a bus, through a playground, onto some amusement-park rides, and eventually coming to a stop in a topiary garden where the children try to hide him from the cops. Schindler does his best to add some excitement to the stilted narrative by drawing the tyrannosaurus as a huge, mean-looking beast thrust into absurd situations surrounded by an increasing mob of kids. Although the story could have some merit as an example of a familiar type of storytelling game, the adventure itself is rather pointless and the ending is too abrupt. This picture book does not live up to its promising title.—Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT

Product Details

Holiday House, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.28(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.39(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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