Friday, December 12, 2008

Tadpole Rex by Kurt Cyrus (Harcourt, 2008)

Lynn: Deep in the goop of a long-ago swamp
A whopping big dinosaur went for a stomp.

In the footprint puddle, Tadpole Rex swims and grows, accompanied by the floops and fleeps of emerging arms and legs. Tadpole Rex’s inner tyrannosaur grows biggest of all though and he challenges the world with a roar of “ribbet” - much to the delight of the five-year-old reviewers in my house. I think this is their favorite picture book of the year - and it may be mine too. We love the vivid pallet of browns, greens and yellows of the bloopy swamp, the frog-eye level perspectives and the inventive page design. The text is delightful and perfect for reading aloud – which we do over and over again. Nicely incorporated science information rounds out a book ideal for the tadpoles in your life.
Cindy: This book makes me miss my public library days as it just NEEDS to be presented in a story hour setting to fully appreciate the illustrations from a distance as well as from a lap--and the rhyming, bouncing, text is perfect for read-alouds. I'm thankful for publishers who include art detail information. Some of the illustrations look like woodcuts (a favorite form of mine) but the end matter says this was created on scratchboard and then digitally colored. We originally planned to focus this blog on middle and teen readers, but we're addicted to picture books, too, so books for all ages will be included. I think we all have an inner tyrannosaur--just one more reason to ROAR about this brilliant book.