The Last Surviving Dinosaur: The TyrantoCrankaTsuris | Dedicated Review
The Children’s Book Review | March 26, 2019
Written by Steven Joseph
Illustrated by Andy Case
Age Range: 7+
Hardcover: 38 pages
Publisher: Mascot Books (April 2, 2019)
What to expect: Dinosaurs, Yiddish, and Moods
“Tsuris” is the Yiddish word for problems—the kind you would never wish on your worst enemy. You see … the narrator grew up in the Bronx where all of his family members would come over and talk about their tsuris as though they were competing to win the Tsuris Olympics. The kvetching (complaining) is way over the top and obviously made an impression. So much so that when the narrator became a father and his daughter had her first temper tantrum, he told her a story about how all the dinosaurs but one went extinct. The TyrantoCrankaTsurisis a dinosaur so cranky that it made all of the other dinosaurs disappear until there was only one other remaining: The TyrantoKvetchaTsuris. These two dinosaurs, the narrator goes on to explain, eventually evolved into humans—they are where the “cranky” and “kvetchy” parts of our personalities come from. The narrator appears to tell his daughter this story because he wants her to be aware that, while it’s okay to be cranky, if we are cranky too much we may find ourselves alone.
Stemming from the author’s personal experiences of how he learned to manage his own crankiness as a child, this tale aims to provide a character that readers can learn from and use as an example to managetheir own set of emotions. Many will find the over-the-top kvetching humorous as family members (and dinosaurs) duke it out for the best tsuris with antics such as plantar warts, getting bitten by an alligator, a brain tumor, and even brains splattering. The digital cartoon-style illustrations play off of the text giving visual clues and engaging the reader further with the bright colors and emotive characters.
If you need an original and far-out fable to read to any young cranksin your home, this could be the book for you.
About the Author
Steven Joseph grew up in the Bronx, and is an attorney currently living in Hoboken, New Jersey. While having written numerous articles on negotiation, this is first authored Children’s Book. He is the proud father of a grown daughter Vita who is a dancer and lives in Brooklyn.
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