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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Here Comes Destructosaurus, written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Jeremy Tankard. Chronicle Books, Raincoast. 2014. $


For crying out loud.
You're tracking seaweed
and dead fish all over the
tourists. We just cleaned
this street. Now look at
the mess you've made!

Destructosaurus is on a roll when we first meet him. He comes out of the sea and makes his presence known throughout the city, smashing and bashing everything in his way! Nothing is out of bounds for his penchant for wreaking havoc.

Perhaps you recognize this type of tantrum...or don't you have any young children? As he pounds his way through the city, trashing every single thing that provides an obstacle to the trajectory of the rant, children may just recognize themselves in his actions.

The commanding voice of the caregiver trying to stem the path of destruction being trod, is loud and exasperated:

That tail of yours is the size of a small
planet! Can't you see that you're
banging it into bridges and knocking it
into skyscapers? You're going to hurt
someone with that thing."

While Aaron Reynolds captures the admonitions in perfect text, Jeremy Tankard uses bold colors and brilliant staging to create the rampage that is explicit in that text. The terrible beast carves a path of destruction thought the brilliant red, orange and yellow background, fueling feelings of heated anger. The bold outlines keeps a young child's attention focused on the action, and consciously aware of the depth of destruction.

It's tough as an adult to remember the confusion of unleashed fury that comes when a small child loses control. When the reason for the rage becomes obvious, young listeners will be thankful to have an apology end the conflict. Destructosaurus takes his calm countenance back to the water from which he emerged, making way for a clean-up committee...or NOT!

Pair this with Samantha Berger's Crankenstein (Little Brown and Company, 2013) and listen in on the discussion both evoke.

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