Ted Rechlin’s T. Rex Generations
Coming of Age for the Most Famous Dinosaur of all Time
I was more than excited when I got the email about reviewing Ted Rechlin’s latest dinosaur book, T. Rex Generations. Ted has written several wildlife graphic novels, but seems to have a special affinity for dinosaurs. From the moment I opened my review copy of T. Rex Generations, I was impressed. The cover will draw a lot of eyes if you leave it out on a coffee table or on display somewhere for people to see (below).The color choice and scenery paints an incredible landscape with the star(s) of the book roaring into the sunrise! That circle of life vibe hits you head on! Whatever course artists take to pick colors, I’d bet Ted aced that class. Combine that with the publisher’s great work on the gloss and printing, and you have a stunning book with deep, rich coloring. All of this holds true throughout the book. The pages are nice and thick so you don’t feel like you have to baby them every time you need to turn to the next one. In fact, at one point I thought I was skipping pages until I took a closer look and saw just how thick they were! This book was made to be read, both physically and literally. One early bit of confusion I had was the actual way the story reads. Instead of page-by-page, top to bottom, the pages actually tie in together. The story unfolds across both pages left to right, then top to bottom. The dinosaurs can’t be contained to one small page at a time!
There are no spoilers in this review, so you can read worry free!
The story follows the birth of four baby “fat bird” Tyrannosaur chicks as they grow, just trying to survive day to day. While a full grown Tyrannosaur had few things to worry about, T. Rex Generations fully illustrates (pun intended) that a growing baby Tyrannosaurus didn’t enjoy the same protections. A little cunning, a little luck, and a lot of mommy and daddy Sierra and Cobalt are needed to make it through a day in the Cretaceous. Ted made me feel for the baby Tyrannosaurs the same way I felt for Blue at the end of Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom. You just have this caretaker type feeling as you see them learn and grow, rooting for them to make it to the relative safety of adulthood. Of course, the other predators of the era pose significant dangers in the wilderness but sometimes the prey can be just as bad. T. Rex Generations is a book imbued with family. It was written by a family (Ted’s wife Anne is the editor), it’s about a family of Tyrannosaurs, and the book was made for a family to pass down through its own generations. I think this book was written with families in mind from the very start.
Towards the end of the book, I get a hint of Jack London’s story White Fang. Our little heroes come to terms with the harsh realities of life. Not every step is easy and not every ending is happy. Still, life goes on, and size as well as success increase through the years. A particularly happy moment came for me when I realized just how appropriate the title T. Rex Generations truly is for this book. Overall there are some happy triumphs, but in the end babies can’t stay babies forever. As a reader, I felt kind of sad to ‘let them go’ metaphorically as they progressed through each life stage. A lot happens in a short period of time in this book. I found myself pleasantly surprised at one point when I looked down and saw just how many pages were left after so much had already happened! It’s one of those books that tugs at the heart strings with one claw at all times. The silver lining though is that the ending of T. Rex Generations sets things up for multiple sequels!
As mentioned earlier, this book is easy to recommend. It’d make a great gift for anyone in your life that loves dinosaurs, adults especially. The cover itself will grab attention harder than a Tyrannosaur’s bite. The story reads like a National Geographic wildlife documentary, which is the same style as JURASSIC, Ted’s previous dinosaur related title. As I was reading, my wife interrupted me about two pages from the end, and I literally felt as if she was interrupting the end of a great movie! It reads that smoothly. T. Rex Generations though, is easily my new favorite.So if you want to watch as a herd of baby fluff balls grow into the greatest apex predators of their time, then this book is for you. It has drama, it has humor, and it’s science-based storytelling might just teach you something along the way.
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