Inside: A review of Tiny T Rex and the Impossible Hug plus 9 book extension ideas with some free printables!
Title: Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug
Author: Jonathan Stutzman
Illustrator: Jay Fleck
Publishing: Chronicle Books, 2019
Themes: Dinosaurs, Emotions, Friendship
Synopsis (from the book flap):
Tiny T. Rex has a HUGE problem. His friend Pointy needs cheering up, and only a hug will do. But with his short stature and teeny T. Rex arms, is a hug impossible? Not if Tiny has anything to say about it! Join this plucky little dino in his very first adventure — a warm and funny tale that proves the best hugs come from the biggest hearts.
Hello, Pointy! Are you OK?
No, today I feel sad. I do not want to play. I have tiny arms.
It is very difficult to hug with tiny arms.
If you’re looking for a picture book about friendship, empathy and perseverance you’ve hit the jackpot!
I found Tiny so endearing I just wanted to pull him out of the book and give HIM a great big hug.
I love how badly Tiny wants to cheer up his friend Pointy. Pointy is a much bigger dino so it’s no small task. But Tiny makes a plan and practices and practices until he’s very good at giving hugs with his little arms.
This book is perfect for jump starting conversations about what it means to be a good friend. It’s also an excellent example of the importance of sticking with a goal no matter the difficulty, and remembering that it’s the heart, intention and sincerity that matter the most.
I highly recommend this book for pre-schoolers to Grade 2. While Amazon lists it as most suitable to age 5, I disagree and think it’s a great book for slightly older children due to the important themes.
This fabulous book lends itself to a variety of extension activities.
1. Feelings and Emotions. In the opening of the book Tiny discovers that his friend Pointy is very sad. Talk about how Tiny knows this (i.e., the expression on Pointy’s face, his body posture, and his words). Some children need this explicitly pointed out to them because interpreting another person’s emotions is sometimes hard to do.
2. Match Emoticons or Emojis to Words. You could draw a variety of facial expressions on the board and have children label the emotions. You could also use emoji clip art to make picture and words cards and play a matching game (I have some emoji hearts clip art for sale if you need some). You could also use the cards to play a game of charades (“Guess my emotion”).
3. Every Story Has a Problem. Identify the problem in the story. Before reading further ask the students to predict what Tiny will do OR what they would do in a similar situation. Sometimes I have children fold a piece of paper in half and quickly draw their prediction. Then at the end of the story they draw a picture either confirming their prediction or drawing what really happened.
4. How is the Problem Solved? First of all Tiny asks the various members of his family for advice. He finally gets the best advice from his siblings: Plan and practice. Which is exactly what he does. He draws out his plan and then practices hugging everything, with a few funny results. Discuss the words “perseverance” and “determination”.
5. Story Elements. Use the paper below to write/draw about the story problem and solution. (You can download below).
6. Discuss Boundary Issues. Some children like to hug everyone and have difficulty discerning when it’s appropriate and when it isn’t. This book is perfect for bridging that discussion.
7. Let’s Talk About Dinosaurs. Learn the names of dinosaurs and see if you can identify the ones in the book. Science Kids has some great info.
8. Draw Tiny. It’s easy to use one of the pictures in the book as a reference for a directed drawing lesson with your students. But if you prefer to follow some step-by-step directions, then Kathy from Art Projects for Kids has an excellent drawing tutorial.
9. Tiny T. Rex Coloring Pages: I made two pages just for you! There’s a happy dino and a sad one. (You can download below).
DOWNLOAD: TINY T. REX ACTIVITY PAGES
Oh! Don’t forget to check out Jonanthan Stutzman’s newest Tiny T. Rex book due for release in March of this year. You can click the image to see it on Amazon.
Thank you for stopping by and happy reading!