Author/Illustrator: Ben Clanton
Age Group: 0-4
Synopsis: Rex loves to have fun but finds out that his fun makes others angry and sad. Maybe with the help of some friends they can come up with a solution.
The Low Down:
Ahhh, sharing. The bane of any young person’s existence. The concept is so difficult to teach and constantly seems out of reach. We’ve been really emphasizing this with Bug recently. Like most toddlers he has a hard time understanding the when and the why. Just last evening, he told me that if he had a lollipop he would share with me…ahhh. Then he added loudly, that there was no way that he’d share with Daddy though. Foiled again. I’ve been searching for sharing books that emphasize this concept and while Rex Wrecks It doesn’t deal with sharing exactly, the spirit of cooperation is very closely related. And really, it can’t hurt.
As is blatantly obvious from the title, Rex (a T-Rex) destroys the amazing block creations that his friends create. It doesn’t matter what it is or how well it’s constructed, Rex is a mini-Godzilla in the making. However, when he goes too far he and his friends realize they need to find a solution. So Rex is included in the building. He helps construct a totally awesomerific rainbow bridge and then the friends knock it all down together.
Clanton seems to skip past the reader and speak directly to the little ones enjoying this story. What kid doesn’t enjoy knocking towers over? Who doesn’t dream of building amazing creations with blocks? And who hasn’t had their items destroyed by an oblivious playmate focused on his/her own enjoyment? Bug loves this story. Mostly, I imagine, because he can relate to every character. Clanton not only provides an excellent idea in resolving this issue but also provides ample opportunity to discuss the feelings that each character has throughout the book. His characters are fun, creative, simple, and relatable for little ones. And to top it all off he uses words like wowdom and awesomerific.
Bug hasn’t magically started sharing since we read this book but he does take more time to examine the characters and decipher their emotions on each page. He likes to tell when one of them is upset or sad. And that in itself is a step forward. Because thinking of others is the first step towards taking turns and sharing. It’s also something that all of us can use a reminder about every once in awhile.
- My only complaint is that one of the characters calls Rex a blockhead during the book. But we’ve used this as a springboard for a discussion on if it’s ok to call people names.
- Add your own sound effects when you turn to each new page. From helping the rocket blocks blast off to giving voice to the characters expressions, it all goes one step further to make the book come to life.
I need more!
Ahhh, Ben Clanton! He’s got a great array of books. We love It Came in the Mail and have been itching to get our hands on Narwhal: A Unicorn of the Sea but for a full list of his other titles check out: http://www.benclanton.com/p/books.html
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