Rex: Dinosaur in Disguise

Rex: Dinosaur in Disguise
Elys Dolan
Walker Books

Elys Dolan triumphs again, this time in the form of Rex, an out-of-time dinosaur. By that I mean
that one moment, King of the dinosaurs, he’s happily roaming the swamps of yore and then along comes the Ice Age, he becomes frozen in an ice block, which eventually defrosts and there he is 65 million years later, in New York City, with humans very much in charge. Even worse is the dinosaur exhibition at the museum he comes upon. How on earth will a T.Rex cope?

With considerable difficulty, though fortunately a yeti, Bigfoot, finds him and takes him back to his abode. Bigfoot, who has found his own way to blend in, starts teaching Rex all he needs to know to survive in this world; there are a few basic rules he has to get his head around and most importantly, he needs to find a job. He’s also introduced to Bigfoot’s friends including Nessy and the only remaining dodo family. Nessy is now a lifeguard and the Dodo is “a very successful local businessman.”

With an interfering nine-year-old neighbour to cope with,

and the constant risk of discovery, Rex has a number of near misses before, thanks to some help from a couple of eagle-eyed children, he lands the perfect job.

Crazy, thoughtful comedy reigns. Elys’ writing is brilliantly funny, full of absurd situations and Rex is a captivating character; oh! there’s a super subplot too. The story also has subtle messages about tolerance, letting people live how they wish, and the vital importance of thinking for yourself. Full of giggle worthy details, the subtly coloured cartoon style illustrations are hilarious and there are occasional plans, maps and speech bubbles to keep readers engaged, further adding to the humour.
KS2 readers will devour this.

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