Linus the Vegetarian T. Rex
Beach Lane Books, 2013
FORMAT: Picture Book
AGES: Preschool, Elementary School
Ruth Ann liked going to the Museum of Natural History. Mostly because she loved natural history, and the museum naturally had quite a bit of history to explore. But her favorite part was the dinosaur exhibit. She knew just about everything there was to know about dinosaurs. So when she discovered a new exhibit, she was very excited. When she walked in a Large Tyrannosaurus Rex greeted her with a “Hello, I’m Linus!” But Ruth Ann knew everything about dinosaurs, so she knew that a T. Rex was a meat eater and shouldn’t be friendly with a potential meal. But Linus was friendly. He showed her around, introduced her to other dinosaur friends, and even saved her from some pesky velociraptors. When Ruth Ann questions Linus about it he says he is a vegetarian T. Rex who would rather be popular and have friends than to eat them–and would save his “fierce” nature for when creatures like the velociraptors come after people like Ruth Ann. So, Ruth Ann learns a bit more about dinosaurs, and enjoys her visit with Linus. After a visit to the gift shop, Ruth Ann decides to find out what other new exhibits the Museum of Natural History has.
This is a fun story. Especially because I think my story time kiddos will enjoy a story with a “nice” T. Rex. (Even though that isn’t all that realistic…at least Ruth Ann points out how unrealistic it is to have a vegetarian T. Rex around.) And I really like the illustrations. The one spread where Linus has his head on the ground so that he can be almost eye-to-eye with Ruth Ann is especially great (and I love how large Linus is compared to Ruth Ann…and how sharp his teeth are even though they have a few leafy veggies hanging from them). Then are the funny pictures where a T. Rex with somewhat short arms are holding carrots or other vegetables to put in his big mouth (let’s just say that small arms probably make eating veggies a bit tricky). But mostly I like this book because Linus is just such a fun character. And really, who can’t love a nice, big, blue T. Rex? Especially when it seems that all he wants is to be friends with everyone?
What to do after reading this book:
Visit a Natural History Museum.
Visit any museum.
Read a book (or two or three) about dinosaurs or your favorite dinosaur.
Talk about the history of your community/area.
Pretend you are a dinosaur. Act like all the various dinosaurs in this book.
Eat a big vegetarian meal as if you were Linus chomping into all the veggies. Make a game out of the meal.
See how long you can talk about history and science subjects–see how long you can turn everything you talk about into a scientific observation.