Thursday, September 14, 2006

review: Rex by Ursula Dubosarsky

Rex by Ursula Dubosarsky. Illustrated by David Mackintosh.
Roaring Brook, 2005 (1-59643-186-5) $16.95

Rex, the class pet, is a shy, little chameleon... or is he? Each day, a different person in the class gets to take Rex home and draws a picture about Rex's visit in his special book, and as the pictures show, the Rex who visits is not remotely shy, or little: he clings to a skyscraper, breathing fire, and stomps one enormous clawed foot into a swimming pool. The narrator of the story, who gets to keep Rex for the entire weekend, has big, big plans, too, like imaginging towering over everyone at the movies by sitting on Rex's head. Oddball, cartoony illustrations are fun, but it's the drawings in Rex's book, each done in a different, childlike style, that are the highlight of this story, particularly Rex's visit to Amy, in which her little brother dresses him in Malibu Barbie clothes: imagine Godzilla in a teeny-tiny bikini, with a purse dangling from one pink-polished claw. (3-8)