Here is an epistolary picture book with a T. rex in a role similar to that of the mouse in If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.
A little girl is turning six in two weeks, and she's decided to invite a Tyrannosaurus rex to her birthday party! Her invitation entices the huge carnivore with promises of fun games to play, the extra-large cake her mother will bake, the goody bag he will get to take home, and, most important of all, how she will be the happiest girl in the world if he comes. But will he?
Lisa McClatchy's sweet, persuasive text is perfectly complemented by John Manders's endearing Tyrannosaurus rex, who can't quite fit under the birthday-party tent or blow out the candles without making a huge mess but is sure to make this birthday party-and this book-unforgettable!
"Erin, a girl who loves dinosaurs, decides to invite a real one from a nearby museum to her sixth birthday party. Her invite comprises most of the book, with most spreads beginning “If you come to my party . . .” Erin gleefully suggests all of the activities they can do together: pin the tail on the dinosaur; the hokey pokey; the trampoline; Twister; sliding down the dinosaur’s tail; pony rides (in which the pony rides the dinosaur); and so on. It’s the illustrations that capitalize on the silliness, animate the action, and exaggerate the size differences. The surprise ending shows the wide-eyed parents and kids opening the door; sharp-eyed readers will detect the shadow of a dinosaur. The letter device keeps this from being just another dinosaur story; instead, it’s a giggly riff on dinosaurs trying to fit within a human world." — BooklistOnline.com
"Erin has decided to invite a Tyrannosaurus rex to her sixth birthday party. She writes him a letter, care of his museum, to let him know where her house is and what to expect in the way of fun. Enthusiastic descriptions of games, treats, the cake, party favors, etc., are accompanied by large cartoonlike illustrations featuring the T. rex as if he were in attendance. Each spread is filled with humor and draws readers in as the green-and-orange reptile clutches purple and pink presents in his “hands,” sits in the play set and lets children slide down his tail, and creates quite the wind as he helps Erin blow out the candles. On the penultimate spread, the child seals the envelope and presumably mails the letter. An extra dose of magic comes in the final, wordless picture that shows Erin, her family, and friends opening the door on the big day, with a T. rex shadow cast over them. Perfect for reading aloud, this title could be paired with Jane Yolen’s How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? (Scholastic, 2005) or Dr. Seuss’s Happy Birthday to You! (Random, 1959)." — School Library Journal
"Like many children her age, Erin is fascinated by dinosaurs. Her sixth birthday is fast approaching and she decides this time, she'll invite a real dinosaur to her party. She writes a letter to Tyrannosaurus Rex describing in detail how to get to her house and what he can expect when he arrives. She promises various games and activities like pin the tail on the dinosaur and the hokey pokey. And, if that's not enough, she further entices him with an array of treats including lots of pepperoni pizza (because he's a meat-eater, of course) and an extra-large birthday cake. She'll even let him help blow out the candles! In true childlike fashion, she pleads and promises to be the "happiest girl in the world" if he'll just come to her party. The final wordless spread shows the faces of shocked adults and delighted children as Erin answers the door in her party hat. The illustrations are just right with bright, bold colors capturing the festivity of the party. The images of the large, fierce dinosaur acting meek and childish are sure to bring giggles. This book will delight young dinosaur fans and is perfect for individual or class read-aloud programs." — ChildrensLit.com
"A giggly riff on dinosaurs trying to fit within a human world. — Julie Cummins, Booklist Online
"Kids will love this story and the funny, sunny illustrations will invite even the grumpiest party pooper." — Marc Brown, beloved creator of the Arthur Series
"In lieu of a dinosaur, this book is the best thing to bring to the party! Delightful illustrations and a charming story make DEAR TYRANNOSAURUS REX the go-to picture book of the season!" — Heather Herbet, Children's Book World
"Like the premise of the tale itself, Lisa McClatchy's text is pure whimsy, but exuberant all the same. John Manders' illustrations are full of action, great facial expressions, and wonderful good humor; a birthday party for the ages." — The Tribune-Review
"Erin’s sixth birthday is just around the corner. She is busy sending invitations to friends. While thinking about who to add, she glances around the room. A brontosaurus painting hangs on the wall, her lamp is a Tyrannosaurus rex, and her pencils have tiny dino erasers. That’s it! She will invite a REAL dinosaur. With a piece of paper and favorite dino pen in hand, she writes, “Dear Tyrannosaurus Rex …” So begins Lisa McClatchy’s book of the same name. Erin writes that if Tyrannosaurus rex comes to her party, they will play games, eat snacks, and have cake. Erin knows that by having a dinosaur at her party, things will be different. John Manders’ illustrations are invitations to join the party and find the hilarity in this big adventure. For example, instead of using Erin’s toys, they’ll use T-rex’s tail as a slide. And if T-rex helps Erin blow out her candles, he may blow the cake away. This book is a lesson to children that including those who are different can lead to unexpected moments. Those moments can be the best gift of all."-Sacramento Book Review