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Never Show a T-Rex a Book

Never Show A T-Rex A Book!

Published: 6 Aug 2020

Paperback / softback, 32 pages

Recommended for age 3+ and 5+

By Rashmi Sirdeshpande

Illustrated by Diane Ewen

Published by Penguin Random House Children's UK

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What would happen if you showed a T-Rex a book? Well, she wouldn't know what to do with it . . .would she? A madcap, super silly genre_fiction:adventure stories stories rooted in the transformative power of books, created by incredible new picture-book duo Rashmi Sirdeshpande and Diane Ewen

Tagged imagination and top pick

Reviewed by Kate Hitchings

Never Show a T-Rex a Book is a provocative title and instantly made me wonder…why? What disasters follow if one commits the folly of book sharing with a dinosaur? The answer is a joyous tribute to the life-changing potential of words, books and libraries.

The book opens by repeating the warning of the title and adding a challenge to imagine what would happen. What if the dinosaur then learnt to read? Perhaps the impact would be immense; not only would she acquire vast knowledge, but she would become full of hopes, aspirations and passions. The delightful illustrations show the mayhem that would ensue as dinosaurs invade the classroom, and the anarchy as they govern the country and prioritise cinemas and popcorn… and libraries.

An adult sharing this story might see the witty parallels with the exhilarating, exhausting process of imparting a love of books to one’s child. The child reader, meanwhile, will relish the silliness of the notion of the well-read T-Rex squashed into cupboards, terrifying the teacher and becoming Prime Minister. But readers of all ages will see the huge power of books, their range, their scope, their richness. They will marvel – afresh or for the first time – at the joy of libraries where you can take out ‘a lot of books. A LOT of books’. T-Rex celebrates this by staggering under an enormous pile of texts ranging from Beowulf to Bad Jokes. One of the delights throughout is the plethora of book titles which add an extra layer of humour; the rich and comic details of Diane Ewen’s illustrations will certainly reward multiple re-readings.

Never Show a T-Rex a Book written by Rashmi Sirdeshpande and illustrated by Diane Ewen (who also illustrated Floella Benjamin’s picturebook autobiography Coming to England), is a title to read aloud and enjoy. I would guarantee giggles at the sheer exuberant comedy, and it is a book that could be shared in school with a class and then enjoyed at home with parents too. Albeit playful, the author’s message is persuasive; libraries can spark curiosity and feed enthusiasms. That is a timely truth worth sharing with parents and children alike.


Kate recently trained as a teacher, after many years as a TA, and now works in a large Cambridgeshire primary school. One of her favourite parts of the job is sharing the love of reading, both with children who already have the passion and with those whose enthusiasm needs whetting. As well as children's books she enjoys crime fiction and historical novels, biography and Christian theology... and anything else that looks appealing. When not reading, she will probably be knitting, walking her energetic springer spaniel or chatting over coffee. She has three grown up children, and doesn't notice when clutter accumulates, so it invariably does.

The BAME authors set

A collection of children's books written and illustrated by BAME authors.