Tiny T. Rex and the Grand Ta-Da! by Jonathan Stutzman and Jay Fleck

Happy, happy Thursday! I'm thrilled Jonathan Stutzman returned to Watch. Connect. Read. to finish my sentences. We discussed Tiny T. Rex and the Grand Ta-Da, Jay Fleck's illustrations, magic tricks, and more. I wrote the words in purple, and Jonathan wrote the words in black. Congratulations, Jonathan! 

Jay Fleck’s cover illustration and Jennifer Tolo Pierce’s cover design for Tiny T. Rex and the Grand Ta-Da is downright adorable, capturing that endearing, exuberant sweetness that makes Tiny T. Rex such a loveable, cheer-inducing character. Plus, this cover marks the first appearance of Pointy (Tiny’s best friend) on the front! Go Pointy! Anytime he’s in the art, it’s is a double-boost of cuteness… I mean come on, look at them both in their little magician costumes.

Tiny T. Rex and the Grand Ta-Da tells the story of Tiny and Pointy’s big goal of winning their school’s talent show. Even though they have their own talents, they decide to work together to do the greatest magic trick ever seen! At the core of the story is how important it is to be there for your friend, even if you’re a little afraid. Because even if we might not be perfect, the act of creating something with someone can be more special than any prize.

Jay Fleck’s illustrations is a magic trick of cuteness, the big reveal being that anyone who looks at them essentially has to smile and exclaim “awwwww!” I haven’t tested this theory but I’m pretty sure that it would be the case. Jay is such a talent, I’m so blessed to work with him! It’s always a joy to see not just the cuteness and vibrant colors he brings to each book, but also the humor. He conveys so much humor with the simplest looks or scenes, and I’m always finding myself laughing I read them. And again, I can’t get over the cuteness. Pure adorableness and all of the “awww’s”!

Pointy is the star of the book. The story is still through the eyes of our main character Tiny, but the heart and core of this story is with Pointy. I won’t give it away, but I hope by the ending you’ll be giving Pointy the loudest applause!

John Schu, you should have asked me if I know any magic tricks. I do not! Well, not traditional magic or illusions. I can’t shuffle cards really cool, and I can barely pull tissues out of a box, so hankies out of my sleeves is definitely not happening. I wear a lot of hats but none of them have rabbits in. But I think there is one sort of magic I try my best at, and that’s writing. Any kind of creating is magic. Conjuring stories from words, paintings from colors, songs from notes. For me, I try my best with stories. One of the biggest joys is being able to create that kind of magic with other talented creators, like Jay. Making books together is incredibly rewarding, and though it isn’t as flashy on stage and we don’t get a spotlight… I think making books with other people is a pretty magical thing, don’t you?

Thank you, Jonathan! 

Look for Tiny T. Rex and the Grand Ta-Da! on April 11, 2023. 

In the newest picture book in the bestselling Tiny T. Rex series, lovable friends Tiny and Pointy challenge themselves when they enter the school talent show. Kids love dinosaurs—and dinosaur books! Tiny T. Rex is a dinosaur kids especially love because he's a tiny dinosaur in a big world—just like them.

Tiny and his friend Pointy really want to win their school's talent show. And they think they know just how to do it: They will become great magicians, just like their hero, The Amazing Presto. Together they work hard on their act, including the grandest trick of all: to make something disappear. But it isn't easy to become magicians, and just when they've mastered their skills, they face the even greater challenge of performing in front of an audience!

With their trademark humor and warmth, beloved duo Tiny and Pointy prove that every problem can be overcome as long as it's met with patience and understanding.


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