Single parenting, T. Rex style…in splashy, melodramatic cartoon scenes featuring a variety of wide-eyed dinosaurs against a backdrop of erupting volcanoes, James exaggerates the size differential between the two rexes to comical effect, endows Little Rex with a cute overbite, and closes with shared smiles. A cozy bit of new-family making…
This warm father-and-son adventure has an exciting plot and features cameos by all kinds of dinosaurs with big personalities; with young Rex painted a bright spring green to hold the focus, the amusing, expressive pastel-hued illustrations done in watercolor and ink keep all the aggressive action light and nonthreatening.
—The Horn Book
James’s loose watercolor-and-ink illustrations comically highlight the contrast between the dinosaurs’ sizes and personalities, especially in scenes that show Rex trying to keep up with his adoptive father’s tree-uprooting, boulder-smashing, and dino-scaring. Rex’s night alone in the woods is just scary enough (even herbivores have menacing teeth in James’s world), and the tender closing reunion puts to rest any question of who Rex’s father really is.
James’ humorous watercolor illustrations capture the pair’s activities…Pair this sweet father-son story with Ryan T. Higgins’ Mother Bruce (2015) for another amusing take on unconventional families.
A winsome orphan finds an adoptive Cretaceous dad in “Rex” (Candlewick, 40 pages, $16.99), a picture book by Simon James…In Mr. James’s humorous illustrations, with scratchy black lines and jubilant splashes of watercolor, we see the monster roaring right at us, maw wide and eyes glaring.
—The Wall Street Journal