I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I was very excited about the opportunity to read You Are My Best Friend because my daughters and I had already read Tatsuya Miyanishi’s other book featuring the Tyrannosaurus, You Look Yummy. These Tyrannosaurus books are part of a popular series in Japan, and they are now being published in the United States.
The story opens with the Tyrannosaurus chasing a group of smaller dinosaurs when he falls off of a cliff. He is rescued by Elasmosaurus, who cleans Tyrannosaurus up and brings him some food. Elasmosaurus tells Tyrannosaurus about a mean bully dinosaur who lives in the water, and Tyrannosaurus lies and says that he hates bullies too. The two dinosaurs become friends, and Tyrannosaurus finds that he finds more pleasure in having a friend than from being a bully. But can he tell his new friend the truth about who he really is?
The illustrations are adorable. Tyrannosaurus is definitely not “kawaii” (cute). He’s scaly and his teeth are sharp. It’s interesting to see his posture and his facial expressions change after he meets his first friend. There are some tender moments in the story, and it’s heartbreaking to see the Tyrannosaurus’ eyes full of tears.
You Are My Best Friend is a wonderful story of friendship. It is just lovely to see Tyrannosaurus interacting with his new friend. They spend much of their time together, and even though Elasmosaurus is an aquatic dinosaur, their friendship just works itself out. There are some great messages to be found here, like the realization that you can change your behavior, and that friends will accept you if you are kind to them.
I would absolutely recommend You Are My Best Friend. This book will especially appeal to fans of dinosaurs, but it holds general appeal for preschoolers and children in the early years of elementary school. Tyrannosaurus is easy to like, even when he’s being mean; but we really rooted for him to succeed when he turned himself around and found a friend. My girls and I are definitely looking forward to more of the Tyrannosaurus books being published in the future.