Tommysaurus Rex

Written by Doug TenNapel
Illustrated by Doug TenNapel

I really enjoyed the first TenNapel story I read, so I knew I wanted to get around to the rest that the library has.

This time around, we center on the story of a young boy who loses his only friend, a dog, to a tragic accident. Unsure of what to do next, his parents send him to his grandfather's farm to regroup. At the farm, he runs into some trouble with the local boys, but adventure is right around the corner...

The adventure turns out to be a real live dinosaur, a T-Rex to be exact. In the kind of normalcy that can only occur in a TenNapel book, he's allowed to keep it as a pet, and it's even used in a nice capitalistic way, to pay for the damage caused by having a several ton engine of destruction around in a small town. Even the Mayor gets into the act of taking advantage of this find.

But not everyone is happy. The bullies that went after Tommy are still around, and they have only one goal in mind--get rid of Tommysaurus Rex. Despite their best efforts, though, all is going well until our prehistoric pet gets a reminder of what (allegedly) killed his brethren.

In the chaos, Tommysaurus's owner learns a lesson about life, love, and failing to neuter your pets.

This is a cute story that TenNapel dedicates in part to Bill Watterson, and you can see in some of the drawings that he's channeling the inner Calvin. However, for some reason I just didn't like this one as much as Creature Tech. I think the problem was that in the latter book, there is a lot of set up so that when the impossible happens, I can easily believe no one cares. This time, that part of the story got shorted, and as a result, I couldn't get my disbelief suspended long enough to really dig this one. Still, it's a fun little read, and I think it's still worth your time to pick it up.