Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug Book Poster Image
Sweet tale of small-armed dino striving to cheer up friend.

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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Kids see the difference between a tyrannosaurus rex, a stegosaurus, and a pterodactyl (although they are not identified as such in the text). 

Positive Messages

Don't let your physical limitations stand in your way. When your friend is sad, it's good to comfort him to help him feel better. Even if you can't do one thing, there are many other things you do well. Even if you're tiny, you can have a big heart. "To do the impossible, you must plan and practice."

Positive Role Models & Representations

Tiny goes out of his way for his friend, displaying empathy, compassion, kindness, selflessness. His family members are loving and try to be helpful with their advice. His mom is especially supportive.

Violence & Scariness

Tiny hugs a cactus and comes away with cactus needles stuck all over him. He falls from a pterodactyl in flight but lands safely on Point's head. 


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug, by Jonathan Stutzman and illustrated by Jay Fleck, is the story of a small tyrannosaurus rex named Tiny who wants to comfort his best friend, Pointy, a stegosaurus, when he's sad. But Tiny is so little, and his arms are so little, he can't manage to deliver a hug. He practices, seeks advice from relatives, and finally finds a way in this sweet friendship tale.

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What's the story?

In TINY T. REX AND THE IMPOSSIBLE HUG, Tiny wants to give his sad stegosaurus friend Pointy a hug, but his arms are too little. His dad tells him to work it out as a math problem. His aunt, who does yoga, says it's a question of balance. His mom says, "It's okay if you can't hug, Tiny. You are good at many things. You are kind and creative and braver than most. You are tiny, but your heart is big!" His sister and brother say he just needs practice. So he tries hugging a cactus, but that doesn't work out so well. He finally drops in on Pointy and fits his little arms around Pointy's head. "Thank you, Tiny," says Pointy. "That was the biggest hug ever."

Is it any good?

This sweet friendship story shows a little dinosaur going to great lengths to hug his best friend even though his tiny arms make it almost impossible. Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug shows a kid motivated by empathy to make every effort to cheer up his sad pal. It also shows someone determined to not let his physical limitations hold him back, which is a great model for kids. 

Author Jonathan Stutzman's text is simple and engaging, and Jay Fleck's super cute, cartoon-like illustrations help kids grasp every emotional moment and plot turn in the story. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about giving comfort in Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug. Why does getting a hug from a friend or family member make someone feel better? Do you like getting hugs? 

  • If your friend was sad, what would you do to cheer that person up? 

  • What would you like to do that's difficult because of your size? What steps can you take to do it even though you're small? 

Book details

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For kids who love picture books

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