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Reviewed by Paula García Lasa for Readers' Favorite
The T-Rex That Didn't Belong is the first book in Tammy Lempert's new children's series, Tales From Grandpa Joe. Grandpa Joe knocks on his grandson Eddie's door, as he usually does on Sunday mornings, to tell him a story. Eddie, on the other hand, is feeling down. He expresses his concern to his grandfather because he is the only boy who prefers dancing to sports. Grandpa Joe then decides to tell his grandson a story that is appropriate for the occasion: a story about a T-Rex who wants to make friends.
The T-Rex That Didn't Belong is an excellent choice for parents. Tammy Lempert has created a book that is appropriate for children in a variety of ways. Grandpa Joe exemplifies an appropriate environment for children to feel safe and comfortable exploring and verbalizing their emotions and concerns: he demonstrates that Eddie's emotions are valid and, without undermining them, he assists Eddie in processing them on his own. Lempert expands on this with advice for parents in difficult situations at the back of the book. Lempert sends a strong message to her readers: it's okay to be different. She does not, however, ignore the fear that it entails. It's frightening to act differently than the people around you. It is. That is a valid emotion. But she also emphasizes that you should not stop doing things you enjoy because of what others may think and that you do not have to do them alone. Overall, this is a book that I strongly advise parents to purchase.