Wreckin' Reptile: Rex Wrecks It! by Ben Clanton
For adults in the room, who hasn't been frustrated with the toddler who takes more joy in knocking down the block structure than building it up? No matter how neat the ramp or how clever the bridge or how tall the tower, as soon as it's done....CRASH! Down it comes.
Rex is that guy.
The little T. Rex's friends Gizmo, a thoughtful little robot, Sprinkles, a sweet, unicorn-horned bunny, and Wild, a horned and fanged little monster, are past that stage.
GIZMO'S OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD ROCKET?
REX WRECKS IT!
Ditto for Sprinkle's magical floating heart and Wild's wooden wonder of the world. RAWR! and RAWR!
REX WRECKS EVERYTHING!
The three put their heads together. Gizmo's calculator grinds its gears as he blueprints his grand design on the chalkboard. The others get into the act. They pull together all the blocks they have, determined to build a design so strong that not even Rex can wreck it!
But not for long.
With his strongest RAWR, Rex roars and down it comes. Satisfied, Rex chomps a cracker, proud of his prowess. The three builders are aghast! How could he?
But Rex notices that his friends are not cheering his mighty deed. Suddenly he gets it. In a tiny voice, he says his own version of "sorry."
But Gizmo has a brainstorm and the three friends figure out a way to get Rex to let them actually finish building something. They let him help!
It's the biggest, tallest, fanciest block building ever. The four share a moment of happy pride! But then...
THERE'S JUST ONE MORE THING...TO MAKE IT EVEN BETTER....
All four of the friends give in to the temptation in Ben Clanton's Rex Wrecks It! (Candlewick Press, 2014). Who could resist? And, after all, now they get to build it AGAIN. Clanton's engaging and expressive pencil, ink, and watercolor illustrations fill the pages with energy, as Rex's more serious companions respond to his rambunctious but infectious exuberance which finally draws them into the fun. "All told, a fine little fable," says Kirkus Reviews, and one that pairs well with Bob Shea's plays-well-with-others story, Dinosaur vs. School (A Dinosaur vs. Book) (Hyperion Books, 2014). (See review here.)