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Book Review: Tommysaurus Rex
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Graphix: Tommysaurus Rex cover by Doug TenNapelTommysaurus Rex
Hardcover | Paperback
Written by Doug TenNapel
Illustrated by Doug TenNapel
Colored by Katherine Garner
Cover by Doug TenNapel
Graphix
Release Date: May 28, 2013
Hardcover Price: $19.99
Paperback Price: $10.99

Young Ely’s best friend is his golden retriever mutt, Tommy. Tommy is destructive and drives Ely’s parents nuts. Tommy is also a girl dog. But none of that matters, Ely and Tommy are inseparable. That is, until Tommy is killed in a car accident.

Crushed, Ely goes to his grandfather’s farm to spend his summer and try to help take his mind off the pain. While exploring the woods, he finds a humongous and friendly Tyrannosaurus Rex! Pretty soon, Ely has a new pet and they become the talk of the town. The local bully, Randy, won’t leave Ely alone, though, even with a pet dinosaur at his back.

Doug TenNapel is a master storyteller, both in his script and in his art. In Tommysaurus Rex TenNapel explores the full spectrum of emotion. I found myself smiling, laughing, and tearing up in sorrow and in joy. There are moments of revulsion, anger, and fear in this story. But what really gets me, is that this is an all-ages comic. Children can pick up Tommysaurus Rex without a problem. Adults, likewise, will find a great deal of enjoyment from the book. And TenNapel manages to do this without the tired old technique of throwing in “adult” humor or themes that will go over the heads of the kids.

No, this story doesn’t need gimmicks to make it work. It works because his art is emotive. It works because we can all relate to loving a friend, losing loved ones, being bullied, hating the ugliness of people and being forced to make very difficult emotional decisions.

Tommysaurus Rex is a fast-paced graphic novel that simultaneously inspires and challenges the reader. I actually found it to be personally transforming.

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