Tulip and Rex Write a Story by Alyssa Satin Capucilli, illustrated by Sarah Massini – Review by Elizabeth Brown
Who wants to go on a word walk? Who wants to write a story? Tulip and Rex do, do you? Alyssa Satin Capucilli’s new picture book (Fall 2015) is Tulip and Rex Write a Story, illustrated by Sarah Massini and published by Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers. Previously, Capucilli (also the author of the Biscuit series) wrote the first in this series, Tulip Loves Rex (2013). This new book, ages 4-8, carries the friendship of Tulip and Rex further, focusing on creativity and the power of writing stories. When Tulip and her dog Rex go on a walk, everything turns magical. They observe the world around them and create something together – a story!
Both Tulip and Rex are fun characters children will identify with and parents, teachers, and librarians will love. Tulip and her walking companion, Rex, go on an exciting journey, discovering words which Tulip writes down in her writer’s notebook. The words Tulip writes down are boldly displayed in bright colors within the text of the story, highlighting them for the child. Tulip and Rex create a story using all the words they have collected. It is a magical tale with dragons, shadows, and kings and queens. But in the end, Tulip and Rex find comfort and security again with Tulip’s parents on a picnic in the park. They find joy and satisfaction in their time together.
Tulip and Rex leap, twirl, and dance across the pages of the book showing how much they love being in the outdoors, exploring, learning, and creating. Their enthusiasm is infectious. Their love for words is exciting. An ordinary walk can be a wonderful activity for children, parents, and pets – a word walk can become an adventure!
Massini’s illustrations delight with the emphasis on friendship, shown in the facial expressions and the hugging and closeness of both the child and her pet. The bright warm colors of gold and coral emit happiness and fun on the page. Turquoise, aqua, and spring green calm and make the child feel secure. The pinks and roses add freshness and stand out on the page. The urban setting in which the story takes place seems magical instead of big or scary with the colors and style Massini chose for her art.
Tulip and Rex Write a Story is an engaging picture book. It reveals how a simple walk through the city can spark a child’s creativity and become a magical jaunt of learning and turn into an extraordinary story to tell over and over again. It emphasizes the importance of providing opportunities for all children to create, to observe the world around them, and to make sense of it all through the power of language and the arts. I hope we will see more of Tulip and Rex in additional books soon, don’t you?
Elizabeth Brown is a writer, film producer, writing professor, and mom. In addition, she teaches creative writing to children and teens at The Center for Gifted and plays the violin. Elizabeth’s website is http://www.elizabethmbrown.com. She blogs about motherhood and parenting a gifted daughter at http://www.motherdreaming.com.