Friday, December 18, 2009

REVIEW: Tyrannosaurus Drip

Donaldson, J.  (2007).  Tyrannosaurus Drip.  New York:  Feiwel and Friends.


Appetizer:  A duckbill dinosaur egg is stolen from its nest and falls into the nest of two mean Tyrannosauruses--who have always hungered for the taste of a duckbill dinosaur.  Not the smartest dinosaurs ever, the tyrannosauruses don't realize the strange looking dinosaur hatching could be another type of dino.  As the Duckbill dinosaur begins to grow, he is nicknamed Tyrannosaurus Drip by his adopted family and teased for all of his differences.  Once Tyrannosaurus finds his rightful place

My friends, I was greatly entertained by this book.  Greatly entertained!  I thought the rhyming worked well and there was a lot of humor.  I found that the illustrations matched the text in humor and also included a lot of curves and swirly patterns.

I wasn't a particularly big fan of the ending though.  While the Tyrannosauruses are painted as being pretty much vile, I tended to just view them shall I say...having different ideals than those of the Duckbill dinosaurs of the world.  So, when *slight spoiler* the Tyrannosauruses have a unhappy end in the story, I didn't really feel it was deserved.  The tyrannosauruses were just doing what was in their nature.

Dinner Conversation:

"In a prehistoric river in a prehistoric swamp,
Lived a herd of duckbill dinosaurs who liked to stand and chomp."

"But the two Tyrannosauruses, so grisly, mean and grim,
Couldn't catch the duckbill dinosaurs because the couldn't swim.
And they muttered, "Down with water!" and they muttered, "Down with wet!"
And they muttered, "What a shame that bridges aren't invented yet."

"The duckbill egg went rolling, and at last it came to rest
In--of all unlikely places--the Tyrannosaurus nest."

To Go with the Meal:

This story will naturally appeal to any child who doesn't feel like they belong to their family.  Where the tyrannosauruses eat meat, the new duckbill baby prefers plants and likes the thought of not having to hunt.  The brother and sister tyrannosauruses naturally turn to calling the "ugly ducking" Tyrannosaurus Drip.  So, the book could also address problems of name calling either among siblings or in a classroom.

I like the theme of finding a place where Tyrannosaurus Drip can belong.  This would be great to reinforce with young students who often feel excluded at some time or another.

A teacher could also draw out the parallel's this story has to Andersen's The Ugly Duckling and could have students make comparisons are create their own "outsider animal" story.

Tasty Rating:  !!!

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